Police say two teenagers from Barre set the Memorial Day fire that destroyed the historic Aldrich block on Main Street in Barre. Charges have not been filed, so police in Vermont are not releasing their names, but WCAX News has learned from arrest records in New York that Nicholas Witham, 17, and Jessica Delary, 16, are the persons of interest in the case.
"They do have statements that are consistent with the origin and cause of this fire, information only known to the person or persons responsible for setting this fire," Barre Police Chief Tim Bombardier said.
The teens were arrested in New York in late June for stealing a car and burglarizing a supermarket. Police say the teens admitted to investigators in New York that they were responsible for setting the fire in Barre. Police would not discuss their motive.
"I think they had concerns about the fire and they had set the fire. I don't know if they had any opinion that the Barre City Police Department or Vermont State Police were chasing them," Bombardier said.
Earlier this week, investigators indicated the teens were also responsible for a string of crimes throughout the Barre area. Chief Bombardier refused to discuss any more details.
"At this time I am not willing to talk about any ongoing investigations, or information that may compromise any ongoing investigation," he said.
It is still unclear when the suspects will be extradited from New York to Vermont to face charges in connection with the arson fire. Prosecutors expect to file papers Thursday detailing the case against the teens. Again the teenagers have not been charged in connection with the fire but sources tell us they are people of interest in the case.