Franklin County arson spree under investigation - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Franklin County arson spree under investigation

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John Dewahl was awakened by the sounds of sirens around 2 a.m. Friday.

"I looked out the window to see a glow," said Dewahl, whose barn burned down.

The plumber's barn, which stored his work materials-- wood and collectibles-- was engulfed in flames.

"The woodwork-- that is supposed to go into my new house," Dewahl said.

All firefighters could do was let the landmark on Duffy Hill Road burn.

"There wasn't enough water in Franklin County to put that barn out," Enosburgh Fire Chief Mark Larose said.

But firefighters soon realized that was not the only building ablaze. Just a few hundred feet up the street, a storage shed and a home that was up for sale were on fire.

"My first thought was what the heck," Larose said.

The string of blazes didn't stop there. Just a few miles down Duffy Hill Road in Fairfield, the fire department there was battling flames at an abandoned barn. And while responding to that scene, firefighters discovered a bulldozer and brush at a farm on the Chester Arthur Road on fire. A short time later, flames were seen coming from the old schoolhouse.

"We do suspect that these are all connected in some way," Vt. State Police Lt. Jim Cruise said.

Investigators are offering up to a $5,000 reward for information that leads them to whoever was behind the arson spree.

"We do have some leads and I will leave that at that," Cruise said.

John Dewahl hopes the firebug who set his barn on fire is caught soon.

"It's really easy to destroy things and it takes a long time to get back what you had if you ever can get it back," he said.

Nobody was injured in any of the fires. Investigators put damage estimates at more than $200,000.

Police urge anyone with information on the fires to call the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program at 1-800-32-ARSON or Vermont State Police in St. Albans at 802-524-5993.

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