Stowe police are investigating a pair of fires over the weekend — reportedly set within hours of each other — and are considering them likely acts of arson.
These mark the fifth and sixth suspicious fires in Stowe in the past year and a half, but police say it’s too early to tell whether there is a link.
The first fire of the weekend was reported in a large metal dumpster on River Road on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 10:17 p.m., according to police. The fire consumed everything in the dumpster, but the Stowe Fire Department extinguished it before it could damage other property.
A few hours later, at 1:20 Sunday morning, the smoke alarm went off at the Stowe Cable Vision building on Thomas Lane. Stowe police responded first and saw the building on fire.
Fire crews soon followed, and managed to put out the blaze before it could spread throughout the building.
The Vermont Department of Public Safety’s Fire and Explosion Unit was brought in to investigate the structure fire at Stowe Cable — and determined it was set intentionally and is considered arson.
The River Road fire is also considered suspicious.
These are two of the six suspicious blazes in Stowe in the past year and a half.
On March 30, 2019, fire destroyed the Stoware Common building at 638 S. Main, home to several businesses and storage for props and costumes owned by the Stowe Theatre Guild.
That same evening, fire damaged the Helen Day Memorial Building at 90 Pond St., which houses Stowe Free Library and Helen Day Art Center. Weeks later, on April 18, fire damaged the building at 14 Pond St., then home to Stowe Chiropractic.
And earlier this year, on June 4, a dumpster fire at 120 South Main Street burned through the roof of a garage owned by a nearby condo association.
Stowe Police Chief Don Hull said he “would not jump to conclusions yet” when asked if he thought there was a link.
“I would estimate there will be more information coming out in the next week or two,” Hull said in an email Wednesday.
The Vermont Arson Tip Award Program offers an award of up to $5,000 for any information leading to the arrest of anyone involved in an arson. Call its hotline at 1-800-322-7766, or Det. Sgt. Todd Ambroz of the Vermont State Police at the Williston Barracks at 878-7111, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Locally, call Stowe Police Det. Sgt. Fred Whitcomb at 253-7126.