HIGHGATE: House fire ruled arson, teens cited

Estimated loss put at $150,000

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HIGHGATE — A 16- and a 17-year-old, have been cited for second-degree arson and reckless endangerment following a Vermont State Police (VSP) investigation into a vacant home fire here late Monday evening.

VSP Detective Sergeants Maurice Lamothe and Jeremy Hill and Division of Fire Safety Investigator Robert Patterson said in a press release Tuesday night that the teenagers, who that did not name, were responsible for in excess of $150,000 in damages to the home.

The house, police said, is owned by Andre LeDuc of Highgate and was for sale. It is located on the former site of Roy’s Housing at 2629 Route 78.

At approximately 11:30 p.m. Monday, the Highgate Fire Department responded to the fire. Police said the second floor was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived and that there was an additional fire in the basement. Local firefighters, assisted by Sheldon and Franklin crews, put out both fires and no one was hurt.

The Highgate Fire Department contacted VSP and requested a fire origin and cause investigation, which was concluded yesterday.

Police found that the fires had been set and were not accidental.

Police did not explain how the connection was made to the two juveniles they believe were responsible. It remained unclear today whether the suspects would be charged in juvenile or adult court.

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