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Warren fire destroys two buildings

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04/03/2008

Vermont State Police report that on April 1, 2008, at approximately 5:17 a.m. the Warren Fire Department was called to respond to a fully engulfed fire on Main Street within the town of Warren. They subsequently responded and encountered a large commercial building fully engulfed in fire on Main Street. The buildings, owned by Roth Family Partnership, were Afterglow Day Spa and Salon and Smith-Gurney Antiques. 

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There had also been explosions reported at this location. Other area agencies were immediately called to respond under Mutual Aid agreements. These agencies included Waitsfield and Moretown Fire Departments as well as Mad River Valley Ambulance Service. The responding fire departments were able to gain control of half the building despite the headstart of a very aggressive fire. After the completion of suppressive efforts, Chief Chris Kathan made a request for an investigation by the Vermont State Police Fire Investigation Unit.

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On April 1, 2008, Detective Sergant Matt Nally of the Vermont State Police along with Investigator Bob Patterson of the Department of Public Safety-Division of Fire Safety responded to the scene to conduct a full Origin and Cause Investigation. Along with the assistance of the Warren Fire Department, a scene examination was conducted. It was subsequently learned that there had been a low order explosion, which blew the front doors to the antique store into the roadway, approximately 60 feet away. The basement wall of the antique store end of the building also was blown out and went as far as the river to the west of the building. The ensuing fire was reported by an area resident. As fire agencies were arriving, a large propane cylinder failed and also exploded. Fire crews quickly set up water supplies to cool the remaining two large propane tanks to prevent any further explosions.

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Investigation of the scene has not revealed the exact cause of this fire; however, the fire and explosions do not appear to be suspicious at this time. The entire building was considered a total loss, in excess of $500,000. There were no reported injuries as a result of this fire.

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Anyone with any information is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Nally at 748-3111 or the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program (VATAP) at 1-800-32-ARSON.

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