Accused arsonist dies of apparent suicide/ Prohibited firearms/ NH homeless burned in propane fire

The Vermont State Police launched an investigation into the death of an inmate at Southern State Correctional Facility on Sunday, Nov. 5.

The deceased, identified as Dennis Mayotte, 37, of North Springfield, was found dead in an apparent suicide at approximately 1:45 p.m. The Department of Corrections alerted the State Police about the incident.

Despite attempts at life-saving measures by the facility staff and emergency medical services, Mayotte was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy is scheduled to be performed at the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington to confirm the cause and manner of death.

Mayotte had been an inmate at the Southern State Correctional Facility since his arrest on Oct. 26 by Brattleboro police on charges including first-degree arson, unlawful mischief, reckless endangerment and unlawful trespass in connection with an apparent attempt to set fire to Gougers Market and Deli on Canal Street on October 24.

Charged with prohibited possession of firearms – The Vermont State Police responded to gunshots heard on Nebelski Road in Coventry around 9:35 p.m. on Aug. 13, leading to a recent citation for a local man prohibited from possessing firearms.

Troopers arriving at the scene made contact with Daniel Rich, 50, of Coventry, in the driveway of the reported residence. Identified as the homeowner, Rich was found in possession of a firearm. Further investigation confirmed that he was a person prohibited from holding such weapons.

The firearm was subsequently confiscated, and Rich received a citation for the violation.

Propane torch fire burns NH homeless men huddled in car – In Manchester, New Hampshire, two homeless men were badly burned Friday morning while trying to keep warm in an SUV using a propane torch.

The victims, whose identities have not been released, are being treated for first-degree and second-degree burns. The men had reportedly found shelter in a vehicle on the Avis Rental Car parking lot.

They were using a plumber’s propane torch for warmth. The torch’s flame went out, and when the victims attempted to relight it, the propane vapors ignited, causing a “flashover” that left the men with face and hand burns.

The car did not catch fire as the vapor burned off quickly. Police warned against the use of propane devices as heaters, noting the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. They referred to previous incidents, including a fatal one, involving propane use in homeless encampments. 

Construction site theft – Police are investigating a theft at a Dummerston construction site on Route 30 after several tools disappeared on Monday, Oct. 30.

The theft at the Northeast Paving Company site occurred at around noon in the parking area near Stickney Brook Road, according to the Windham County Sheriff’s Office.

In addition to the pilfered tools, a Toyota truck was stolen from the site. The truck has since been recovered.

Another company truck had its ignition tampered with in what appears to be an attempted theft. Corporal Gallup, the investigating deputy from the Windham County Sheriff’s Office, is seeking any information about the incident. The Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 802-365-4942.

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