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NEWFANE — Vermont State Police are investigating an explosion and fire that killed a man and destroyed a Newfane home at 521 Route 30.

It is the second deadly fire in Windham County this week.

The house at 521 Route 30 is owned by Russell Buzby, according to state records. Police have not identified the fire victim.

Police and firefighters were notified Friday at about 1 a.m. about an explosion at the house, which is on Route 30 south of the historic village.

Police investigators removed a body from the rubble of the house Friday morning.

A neighbor who lives close to the scene said they were awoken by an explosion around 1:10 a.m. and then saw the flames at 1:15. They said there were additional small explosions as crews got the fire under control.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. With debris scattered around, members of the Vermont State Police Public Safety Fire and Explosion Unit took distance measurements of the front door of the home, which was across the road and twisted up after an explosion.

The small house was very close to Route 30. It is unclear when the explosion occurred, but investigators said it was caused by the fire.

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Family members and those in the community gathered at the site Friday morning and embraced each other as crews swift through the building’s remains.

Local and state officials investigate a fatal fire at 521 Route 30 in Newfane on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.

The house was the scene of an incident on June 17, when the homeowner called police because a man was inside his home, inflicting damage and “behaving irrationally.”

The police, after trying to de-escalate the situation, shot the man, who was on the house’s roof by this time, with a bean-bag type projectile, and the man fell 15 feet to the ground.

Marshall Dean, 61, of Newfane, was seriously injured in the fall, which occurred at about 2:15 a.m.

Two Vermont State Police officers were placed on paid leave after the incident, after police investigated their response, and were cleared of any wrongdoing.

On Thursday, the Vermont State Police Public Safety Fire and Explosion Unit was investigating another fatal fire at 129 Taft Brook Road in East Dover, where a man died Tuesday. The East Dover victim has not been identified.

Contact Susan Smallheer at

Photographer / Multimedia Editor

Has been working as a photojournalist since 2007, before moving into newspapers, he worked with an NGO called Project HOPE. He then went to work for the Press and Sun-Bulletin in New York, and then in New England working for the Brattleboro Reformer.