Photo Gallery | Structure fire in Westminster

WESTMINSTER — At just before 9:30 on Sunday night, the Westminster Fire Department responded to 100 Gage Street for a structure fire.

"There's a barn or shed off the back of the building," said Westminster Fire Chief Cole Streeter. "It looks like that's where it started and then worked its way into the house."

A neighbor, who lives a couple of hundred yards up the road, said that before he smelled the fire, he smelled gasoline or diesel fuel.

"I think someone doused it with gasoline and lit it," said Robert Phillips, who notified 911 of the blaze.


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Streeter, who said the house has been unoccupied for nearly two years, said he had called in the Vermont Division of Fire Safety and Vermont State Police Fire Investigation Unit to determine the cause of the fire.

"It took about an hour-and-a-half to get under control," he said.

The Westminster Fire Department received assistance from departments in Putney, Bellows Falls and Rockingham and Walpole and Westmoreland, N.H.

"It was very hot," said Phillips. "I moved my car off the driveway and I was also worried about the vinyl siding on my house."


Vermont state fire investigators look into the cause of a structure fire at 100 Gage Street in Westminster on Monday, Aug. 15. The fire started at 9:30
Vermont state fire investigators look into the cause of a structure fire at 100 Gage Street in Westminster on Monday, Aug. 15. The fire started at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. No one was occupying the residence at the time. It took crews roughly an hour-and-a-half to get the fire under control. (Kristopher Radder — Brattleboro Reformer)

Vermont state fire investigators look into the cause of a structure fire at 100 Gage Street in Westminster on Monday, Aug. 15. The fire started at 9:30
Vermont state fire investigators look into the cause of a structure fire at 100 Gage Street in Westminster on Monday, Aug. 15. The fire started at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. No one was occupying the residence at the time. It took crews roughly an hour-and-a-half to get the fire under control. (Kristopher Radder — Brattleboro Reformer)