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Fire Investigation // Westminster Barracks






CASE#: 21B104442

TROOPER: Det. Sgt. Matthew Hill                                               

STATION: Westminster Barracks – Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit                

CONTACT#: (802)722-4600


DATE/TIME: October 9, 2021 at 1:31 AM

LOCATION: 40 Main Street Putney, VT

INCIDENT: Fire Investigation


VICTIM: Rod’s Mobile

VICTIM: Rodney Winchester

                 West Brattleboro, VT

                 Greg Winchester

                 Putney, VT


SUMMARY OF INCIDENT: On October 9, 2021 the Putney Fire Department was dispatched to a fire a service station on Main Street in Putney.  The fire was reported by a passerby who noticed the fire as he was driving home after work.  When firefighters arrived they discovered heavy fire along the rear of the building that is used to store tires and other supplies for the service station.  The Putney fire department was able to suppress the fire with the assistance of several area fire departments that responded to the 3-alarm fire. As part of Putney Fire Chief Tom Goddard’s assessment of the fire scene he contacted the Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit (FEIU) for assistance in determining the origin and cause of the fire event.


FEIU members responded to Putney and conducted a scene examination.  The cause of the fire is under investigation but is believed to be the result of direct human involvement and the circumstances surrounding the fire are considered suspicious.  The building sustained extensive damage from fire, heat, smoke, and water.  An accurate damaged estimate is not available but is expected to be more than $250,000.


A separate fire event was reported to investigators in nearby Dummerston.  The victim of the fire reported placing a chair at the end of the driveway yesterday afternoon.  He discovered the chair had been set on fire sometime after midnight.


Investigators are also looking into whether the fire at Rod’s Mobile is connected to the fire that was reported last Saturday on 19 Shag Bark Hill also in Putney, VT


Investigators are asking anyone with information about this fire event to contact the Vermont State Police in Westminster (802)722-4600.  People with information may also contact the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program at (800)32-ARSON.  A reward of up to $5,000.00 may be offered for information that leads to an arrest in this case.



Matthew Hill

Detective Sergeant, VT State Police – Bureau of Criminal Investigations

Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit

2777 St George Road

Williston, VT 05495

Office - (802)878-7111 ext 4057



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