Police Reports

Four months after suspicious fire, Putney garage reopens

Reward offered for information leading to arrest

October 9, a suspicious fire destroyed Rod’s, a Putney Service Station. It has been rebuilt and reopened by its third-generation owner. VSP photo

On February 14, Rod’s, located at 40 Main Street in Putney, reopened just four months after the business was destroyed in a fire, Vermont State Police say. The owner of the business, Greg Winchester, rebuilt the business that was started in 1967 by his father, Rodney Winchester, and his grandfather Raymond; it has been family-owned ever since.

On October 9, 2021, fire crews were dispatched to 40 Main Street after receiving reports of a structure fire. Area fire departments battled the blaze for several hours but were unable to save the structure. Along with the building several of their customers’ vehicles were damaged or destroyed in the fire along with tools, equipment, personal belongings and mementos.  

Investigators for the Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit responded to the scene to conduct an origin and cause examination. Investigators believe the fire started at the back of the building and may be the cause of direct human involvement.

This was one of several fires that happened in southeast Vermont during October 2021. The fire that took place on October 2, 2021, on Shagbark Hill Road in Putney was solved, and an arrest was made. 

The Rod’s fire investigation remains active. Investigators are asking anyone with information about this fire to contact the Vermont State Police in Westminster at 802-722-4600. Tips may also be submitted anonymously by texting keyword VTIPS to 274637 (CRIMES), or online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

People with information also may contact the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program at 800-32-ARSON. The Arson Tip Award Program is a separate entity from the state police, and through funding from insurance companies offers a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest in this case.

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2 replies »

  1. We are so thankful that Rod’s is open and providing the community with their friendly and talented service! They are the go-to for towing service, oil changes, and ethanol-free gas for snowmobiles and lawn mowers!

    Their giant American flag has always been a bright spot when driving through Putney.

    The challenges of rebuilding both emotional and financial must be massive. We’ll keep the Winchester’s in our prayers and hope someday the arsonist responsible is brought to justice.

    There’s an online fundraiser to help their family continue to cover their costs from the fire:


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