VSP Press Releases: Fire investigation with injury.

Thetford, VT




CASE#: 15B300373

TROOPER: Det. Sgt.

Larry Smith, Det Sgt. Jeremy Hill, DFS Investigators Baranowski and Benard
STATION: Bradford


DATE/TIME: 02/21/2015 at approximately 0210 hours.
LOCATION: 4439 Vt Rt 5 Thetford, Vt
VIOLATION: Fire investigation with injury

VICTIM: 82 year old female

On 02/21/2015 Sgt. Lyle Decker with the Vermont State Police Bradford barracks was on patrol on Rt 5 in Thetford. Sgt.

Decker observed a large amount of smoke coming from the above residence. Upon further investigation, Decker discovered the house was on fire. Decker contacted the State Police dispatch who in turn dispatched the Thetford Fire Department.

While waiting the arrival of fire personnel, Decker went around the residence to assess the fire. The male home owner had removed himself from the house and was sitting in a vehicle in the driveway. The male subject advised his wife was still in the house.

The son of the home owner arrived soon after and advised he had been speaking with his mother on the phone who informed him the house was on fire and she was still in it. The son tried to enter the house at the rear but the fire was to intense. Using a ladder to access the upstairs bathroom window, the son climbed up, broke the glass and screamed for his mother.

He heard he respond from the front side of the house so he ran around and extended the ladder to the upstairs bedroom window. After breaking the glass and trying to enter the room several times, he was forced back because of the heavy smoke.
As members of the Thetford Fire Dept.

arrived several firefighters used the ladder to attempt a second floor rescue. A couple of other fire fighters entered the main floor trying to make their way to an interior stair case. While this was taking place another crew was actively engaged in fighting the fire in the rear of the house.

The son had also entered the front door trying to crawl to his mother’s rescue when he was forced back due to heavy smoke. When he exited the house he was met at the door by Sgt. Decker and Trooper Shaffer.

When he attempted to go back into the house a second time he was detained by the Troopers for his own safety. While in the doorway, Sgt. Decker used his flashlight to try and see into the structure.

Decker observed what he believed to be a person sitting in a chair approximately 12 feet inside the house. Decker crawled into the house on his stomach, grabbed the chair by the leg and proceeded to drag it and the female victim to the entry door. Once Decker was able to get the victim and chair close to the door, the son and the Thetford Fire Chief also entered and assisted in removing there female.

Once outside, the female was transferred to waiting EMS personnel and transported to the hospital. The female was later transferred to the Boston hospital for more specialized and definitive care. The Trooper, the fire chief and the son were not injured during the rescue.

The Thetford Fire Dept. requested mutual aid from numerous other departments to assist with fighting the fire. The bitterly cold temperatures hampered the fire departments ability to locate and maintain a steady water supply.

Water was being shuttled to the fire from several locations and required a collaborative effort by numerous departments. Based on the nature of the fire and the extent of injuries sustained by the home owner the Thetford Fire Chief called the State Police to request an origin and cause investigation. Members of the State Police Fire Unit along with members of the Division of Fire Safety responded to the scene to conduct the investigation.

This was very much a working fire when the investigators arrived on scene. Fire suppression efforts were still under way and heavy equipment was being brought in to assist with removing portions of the structure. The house was deemed a total loss and was being demolished to aid in putting out hot spots that were still present.

The fire is currently under investigation but does not appear to be suspicious at this point.
Detective Sergeant Larry Smith

Vermont State Police

Fire Investigation Unit

Troop B

Office # 802-748-3111 Ext.


Cell # 802-399-9406
Vermont Department of Public Safety | Vermont State Police

Press Releases: http://vsp.vermont.gov/press_releases1

Submit an Anonymous Tip: http://www.vtips.info2

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  1. ^ http://vsp.vermont.gov/press_releases (vsp.vermont.gov)
  2. ^ http://www.vtips.info (www.vtips.info)
  3. ^ http://www.facebook.com/VermontStatePolice (www.facebook.com)
  4. ^ http://www.twitter.com/VTStatePolice (www.twitter.com)

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