A 39-year-old Hardwick man, recently laid off and facing eviction, set his home on fire in August and collected $6,500 in false insurance claims, Vermont State Police allege.
Raymond Pickett, charged with first-degree arson and insurance fraud, was arraigned last Thursday in Caledonia County Superior Court.
The fire happened Aug. 5 at Pickett’s house on Woodbury Street in Hardwick, troopers said. State police investigated for more than two months before arresting Pickett.
Hardwick firefighters arrived at the home at about 6:40 a.m. Aug. 5. Neighbors had called about heavy smoke.