Ranch trailer fire suspect is Orwell teen

Between the dates of March 14 and March 28, Vermont State Police troopers have been conducting an investigation into a suspicious fire that occurred in a Pond Hill Ranch trailer at the Shoreham Service Center in Shoreham.

On the morning of March 14, troopers Andrew Leise and Justin Busby responded to the Shoreham Service Center to assist Shoreham Fire Department with a commercial hay trailer fire. While assisting the hay on the trailer burned, the commercial trailer carrying the hay was damaged significantly, and an adjacent refrigerated commercial utility trailer also sustained fire damage.

Damage estimates were approximately $25,000-$30,000 as reported by Bradford Trucking of Shoreham as well as Pond Hill Ranch of Castleton. Follow up investigation was conducted over the past two weeks by Senior Trooper Andrew Leise and a suspect was developed.

Follow up investigation into the case indicated a 16-year-old juvenile from Orwell had been at a juvenile gathering at a residence in Shoreham on the morning of March 14.

Investigation revealed that on Sunday morning, March14, the teen, along with a male friend, walked to the Shoreham Service Center in an attempt to locate discarded cigarette butts within the parking lot area to smoke. Further investigation into the incident revealed that after picking up the discarded cigarette butts at the Shoreham Service Center and at the National Bank of Orwell across the street, the teen approached the hay trailer parked at the south end of the Shoreham Service Center parking lot, presented a lighter to the hay on the trailer and lit it.

On March 27, the teen was subsequently charged with one count of Felony Arson. The juvenile was issued a citation and will be required to appear in Addison District Court on April 19.

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