Vermont Police Suspect Arsonist in 40 Recent Fires in Rutland Area

June 29, 2006

Fires in a pair of trash bins have been connected to a string of arsons in Rutland, Vermont and surrounding communities.

Police say there had been a two-week lull in the series of fires, but they flared up again early Wednesday morning when trash containers were set ablaze behind a business and school offices.

The fires, which were reported after 3 a.m. a few minutes apart, were extinguished quickly and did not spread to a building housing a Blockbuster Video store or the city schools administrative offices in the former Longfellow School.

The two buildings are about a mile from each other.

Rutland City Police Detective Sgt. Kevin Stevens said investigators are probing the latest blazes, but they’ve concluded they’re connected with up to 40 suspicious fires that have been set in Rutland City and Rutland Town.

Most of those blazes have been set in trash bins outside commercial businesses and haven’t damaged buildings, although the Italian-American Club suffered $75,000 in damages after a trash fire there spread to the building.

There have been no injuries in the fires.

The fires were reported every couple of days until more than two weeks ago, when they stopped before picking up again Wednesday.

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