Brattleboro >> A fire took out an abandoned home at 231 Vernon Street, adjacent to Barrows Fisher Oil, early Saturday morning.
Around 2 a.m. a "building fire" was called in and was quickly upgraded to a second alarm as it was fully involved when fire departments arrived, according to Chief Michael Bucossi of the Brattleboro Fire Department. This one and a half floor, single-family sized home was unoccupied and no one was injured. It was deemed a "total loss," and Bucossi said the little of what was left of the structure was not enough for investigators to know what caused the fire.
"The cause of the fire is undetermined; it was maybe accidental or arson, but there's no way to tell," he said.
Bucossi noted that there is no power to the building that was destroyed and that it was possibly a homeless person who started the fire, as he said Barrows employees have reported seen homeless individuals in and out of that structure.
When departments arrived, Bucossi said they drew their attention to protecting the Barrows building as the engulfed structure was "too far gone" by the time they got to the scene. One of the full-time employees at Barrows Fisher Oil is also a volunteer on the fire department, and Bucossi instructed him to immediately remove all of the heating oil trucks from the building.
"The fire building was a total loss, we weren't going to save anything. Basically the first crew wrote off the fire building and re-directed their attention to saving what they could of the Barrows building," Bucossi said.
There was limited damage to the Barrows Fisher Oil building, other than some discolor.
Bucossi said someone from the Public Works Department came in with a backhoe to move around the debris in the burned-out structure and did not find any remains inside. He said crews were at the scene for several hours, putting out hot spots, and the last truck left the scene around 7 a.m. Saturday.
Rescue personnel responded from Brattleboro Fire Department, Guilford Fire Department, Rescue Inc. and Brattleboro Police Department. Fire departments from Putney, Hinsdale, N.H., and Chesterfield, N.H., covered the stations that were on the scene.
Maddi Shaw can be reached at 802-254-2311 ext 275.