Fire damages Castleton home center

Published: Jan. 15, 2023 at 10:49 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2023 at 6:52 PM EST
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CASTLETON, Vt. (WCAX) - A fire badly damaged a well-known business in Castleton Sunday morning.

Even 24 hours later, Castleton Fire Chief Heath Goyette says he’s still in awe of what he battled at the Gilmore Home Center. “Worst one I’ve ever had to deal with,” he said.

When Goyette arrived shortly after 11 Sunday morning, he knew he’d need help. “By the time the first truck landed, front doors and windows come out of it and we had a full fire load in the upstairs,” Goyette said.

Close to 100 firefighters and 12 departments fought the fire which was made difficult because of the paint and other accelerants inside the building. From the road, it looks like a total loss, but in the back, it was a save.

The center’s owner, Scott Larson, arrived quickly on the scene. “Tremendous save -- they were able to cut the roof up there,” he said. The kitchen and bath part of the business that was in another building was spared along with the lumber yard.

Samantha Lasuba lives across the street from Gilmore’s. “You could hear the propane canisters popping and the spray cans -- all the aerosol that was in there,” she said.

Larson and his family have owned the business since 1980. He has no doubt about the future.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Are you hoping to rebuild?

Scott Larson: Absolutely, absolutely, yup.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Do you have any idea how it started?

Scott Larson: We’ve got some video footage. I guess I shouldn’t discuss until the fire marshall checks things out, but it’s not of any suspicious nature.

Larson says he’s thankful for the community support. Area businesses opened up their doors to serve hot coffee for the firefighters.

“They’ve supported this town, the people, the town -- all the fundraisers for a lot of years -- so now it’s our turn to support them back,” Goyette said.