Community Contributes to Barre City Arson Reward Fund

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 08/30 2014 06:34PM

Updated 08/30 2014 08:27PM

BARRE CITY, Vt. -  A city plagued by a string of arsons offers a reward for information leading to an arrest. At the beginning of the week that reward sat at $5,000 but the community stepped up to help offer much more.

Four fires, at four separate locations, on four separate days; but police say they all have one thing in common- they were intentionally set.

“It just boggles your mind as to why somebody would do something like this,” said Steve Mackenzie, Barre City Manager.

Mackenzie says the similarities don't stop there. All four of the buildings were vacant and all the fires were set between 11 pm and 5 a.m.

“There is no building that warrants arson of course. But when they start to hit buildings like the Reynolds House which was not occupied but had no appearance of a vacant building whatsoever --that really ramps up the seriousness of this spree, and it makes us even more determined to catch whoever is doing this,” said Mackenzie.

City and state officials continue to investigate the fires to find the person responsible. At the beginning of the week the state arson tip line offered a $5,000 reward to anyone whose tip helps lead to an arrest.
But the community had much bigger plans.

“Other businesses and or individuals have stepped up to increase that amount to 20,000 dollars from what the mayor told me,” said Mackenzie.

While those businesses and individuals wish to remain anonymous, Mackenzie says their gestures say a lot about the community of Barre City.

“I think it says we don't like it, and stop it. And we are just not going to settle for it. We are not going to rest until we catch whoever is doing it,” said Mackenzie.

As of earlier this week no tips have been called into the tip line. But police are asking everyone to be vigilant and contact the arson tip line with any information; that number is 1-800- 32-ARSON.

If your tip leads to an arrest that 20 thousand dollars could be yours.

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