VSP: Rutland house fire blamed on cigarette container

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VSP: Rutland house fire blamed on cigarette container

Tue, 05/26/2020 - 11:08am -- tim

Photo is of the back of the house at 32 Lincoln Avenue. The area or origin is to the right of the open back door on the small set of steps seen in this photograph. Courtesy VSP.

Vermont State Police On May 24, 2020 at approximately 4:00 AM Robert Withington, a nearby neighbor, saw the exterior of the house at 32 Lincoln Avenue, Rutland, on fire. Withington ran to the house and alerted the occupants about the fire. A 911 call was also received regarding the fire at about the same time. The Rutland City Fire Fighters arrived on scene within a few minutes and began fighting the blaze. 

They were able to extinguish the blaze and keep the fire from spreading to the interior of the home. 

Once they put the fire out the Rutland City Fire Chief contacted the Rutland Police Department and the Dept of Public Safety Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit to conduct an origin and cause investigation.  Rutland City Detective Emilio Rosario, Det. Sgt. Todd Ambroz and ASFM Chris Boyd arrived on scene to conduct an origin and cause investigation. 

According to neighbors the occupants of the home had been lighting fireworks off until a little after midnight on Sunday, May 24th and this was thought to be the cause of the fire. 

They had also used a gas grill which was located close to the house which could also have been a competent ignition source.   

After conducting an origin and cause investigation it was determined the fire started on the back side of the two story house. 

The house was clad in vinyl siding which was placed over cedar clapboard shingles. 

The fire began near a backdoor of the house where a container for used cigarette butts was located. 

Once the fire in the can grew it caused the exterior siding of the house and steps to catch fire and then quickly spread upwards and outwards to other combustible materials including a car and truck in the driveway and a two story detached garage.   

This fire is considered accidental and was caused by improper disposal of smoking materials. 

There were no injuries or deaths in the blaze, but the two cars, and garage are a total loss.  The house sustained extensive damage to the exterior on the back side, and some water, smoke and soot damage to the interior. 

Anyone having any information regarding this fire is asked to please contact Det. Sgt. Todd Ambroz of the Vermont State Police at the Williston Barracks at 802-878-7111, or by email at todd.ambroz@vermont.gov  or by contacting Detective Rosario of the Rutland City Police Department at 802-773-1816.


Incident: Fire Investigation




Vermont State Police Case # 20B401843

Rutland Police Dept. Case# 20RL03887   

FIRE INVESTIGATORS: Detective Sergeant Todd Ambroz - Vermont State Police, Assistant State Fire Marshal Chris Boyd - Division of Fire Safety

STATION: VSP Williston Barracks

CONTACT# 802-878-7111

DATE/TIME: May 24, 2020 @ approximately 4:00 AM

INCIDENT LOCATION: 32 Lincoln Avenue, Rutland, VT

INCIDENT: Fire Investigation

Owner of house: Seth Howard, age 37

Occupants/renters of house: Colleen Bellamy age 42, Noah Dunne age 21, Tyra Goullette age 20, and a 9 yr old juvenile.

Detective Sergeant Todd Ambroz

Department of Public Safety Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit

Vermont State Police, A-Troop West

2777 St. George Road

Williston, VT 05495

Office 802-878-7111