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Fire at Vermont Country Store warehouse

(WCAX)
Published: Oct. 21, 2018 at 10:13 AM EDT
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Fire investigators are heading back to a Clarendon warehouse Monday morning after flames destroyed millions of dollars worth of merchandise over the weekend.

The warehouse is owned by the Vermont Country Store.

Rutland firefighters say they responded to the building on Vermont Rt. 7B in Clarendon at 10:45 p.m. Saturday.

Firefighters tried making entry into one of the doors but realized the fire was already too big to fight.

"The hardest part of the fire was trying to get to the fire," said Matthew Jakubowski, the assistant state fire marshal.

Jakubowski says about a dozen crews from the area responded to the scene. Flames were still burning Sunday afternoon.

"I believe one of the tanker trucks hold 3,500 gallons of water, and they dumped 10 or 20 times," said Jakubowski.

He says a new fire alarm system was installed recently, but the 16,000-square-foot building did not have a sprinkler system.

Representatives of the Vermont Country Store say the warehouse was used for overflow merchandise from their main warehouse just down the road. The company just purchased the building a few months ago and the merchandise inside was about 5 percent of their total inventory.

"One area has perfume, one area had soap, one area had a lot of clothing," said Jakubowski. "I guess there was a lot of clothing inside, a lot of tea kettles. There must've been 1,000 tea kettles in there."

Jakubowski says he was told there were roughly $2 million worth of products in the warehouse.

Company officials say the fire will not affect business and that customers' orders are still set to ship on schedule.

Vermont State Police say a fire investigation team is examining the warehouse site Monday. Officials say the investigation is in its early stages, and it is currently unknown whether the blaze is suspicious.