• Fire at Elm Street home in Montpelier ruled arson
    August 05,2014

    Montpelier firefighters carry hose around the back side of a burning home at 3095 Elm Street in Montpelier shortly after noon Tuesday. Five area fire departments responded. A male resident who claimed to be the home's only occupant was found outside the building when firefighters arrived.

    By Josh O'Gorman
    Vermont Press Bureau

    MONTPELIER – A local man is expected to be arraigned Wednesday for first-degree arson after allegedly setting fire to his Elm Street home Tuesday morning.

    At approximately 11:30 a.m., Montpelier Fire and Ambulance responded to a two-story home at 3103 Elm St., located approximately 1/8 of a mile south of the Montpelier-Middlesex line.

    “When we first arrived we had a heavy fire in the back of the building,” said Chief Robert Gowans. “There's a kitchen area back there and that's where the majority of the fire was.”

    When firefighters arrived, they encountered a man outside who identified himself as a resident of house.

    “There was one occupant out on the lawn,” Gowans said. “He said he was the lone occupant and he's been removed by the P.D.”

    Police later identified the man as 50-year-old Charles A. Stawicki. According to a statement from the Montpelier Police Department, Stawicki was “naked, intoxicated and suicidal, yelling that he wanted to die.”

    According to police, Stawicki was responsible for starting the fire, and witnesses said he attempted to re-enter the building prior to the arrival of emergency personnel.

    Stawicki was taken to Washington County criminal court Tuesday afternoon, but was too intoxicated to be arraigned. He was held on $50,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

    The fire, which drew mutual aid from Berlin, Calais, East Montpelier and Worcestor, forced the temporary closure of Elm Street, with traffic rerouted along Bolduc and Portal Roads.

    This marked the second closure of Elm Street in the past week, with the street closed Thursday to allow for repairs to a building on the corner of Elm and School streets.

    There were no reported injuries to either Stawicki or to emergency responders.

    For more photos, click here: http://on.fb.me/1kEwu0y

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