On May 16, at 12:51 p.m., the Middletown Springs Fire Dept. responded to 4000 Saw Mill Hill Road for a report of a structure fire at a remote camp. Upon arrival, firefighters encountered a fully involved structure fire in the single-story camp. They noted most of the camp structure had already been consumed by the fire prior to their arrival. They then began an exterior attack on the fire; however, despite their efforts they were unable to save the structure from being completely consumed by the fire.
Minor injuries were reported.
As part of his scene assessment, Middletown Springs Fire Chief Joe Castle contacted the Vermont Dept. of Public Safety fire and explosion investigation unit for assistance in determining the origin and cause of this fire.
Members of the Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit responded to the scene on Monday morning, May 18, and initiated an origin and cause investigation. It was determined the camp was believed to be unoccupied; however, a male identified as Scott Saltis approached the firefighters from the woods behind the camp, claiming to have sustained minor injuries from the fire.
Saltis was transported to the Rutland Regional Medical Center and treated for his injuries. Police reported that it was unclear if Mr. Saltis was staying in the camp or nearby in the woods, at the time of the fire.
This fire remains under investigation and is considered suspicious.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Det. Sgt. James Wright at the Shaftsbury Barracks at 802-442-5421 or the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program (VATAP) hotline at 1-800-32-ARSON (1-800-322-7766). The VATAP will pay up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.