Firefighters battling an apartment building fire on High Street in Barton Wednesday morning found a dead male inside. It was just past 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday when the Orleans Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at 46 High St. in Barton. The multi-family apartment building is located in a residential area near the intersection of routes 5 and 16. On arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from a first-floor window, according to a report from Det. Sgt. Clark Lombardi and Det. Sgt David Robillard, from the State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit. Firefighting efforts contained the fire to a single room in a downstairs apartment, where it was extinguished. It was there where firefighters found the deceased male. Once the fire was out, Orleans Fire Chief EJ Rowell contacted the Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit to request assistance with determining the fire’s origin and cause. The fire victim’s remains were removed and taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington for an autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death and to verify the victim’s identity. The investigation is still under investigation, but sergeants Lombardi and Robillard believe it started accidentally, and there’s nothing to suggest at this point that it was the result of criminal behavior. If anyone has information relevant to the fatal fire, contact state police officials at the Derby state police barracks. The phone number is 802-766-8881. People with information can also contact the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program at 800-32-ARSON.
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