Police Reports

Man dies in burning house looking for car keys

A 71-year-old man died after entering a burning home trying to retrieve car keys.

Fire crews, arriving at a fully-involved Bowen Road, Newbury home at 2:15 July 14, learned that all occupants had initially made it safely out of the residence, but James Lacount went back inside to retrieve car keys in hopes of moving a vehicle away from the burning building. Lacount never returned and soon after the structure collapsed. Defensive firefighting actions were taken, and the fire was extinguished.   

During Corinth Fire Chief Edward Pospisic’s assessment of the scene, he learned Lacount was not accounted for and believed to be somewhere within the fire scene. Chief Pospisic contacted the Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit and requested assistance in locating any victims within the structure and to determine the origin and cause of the fire event. 

Members of the Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit responded to the fire scene and conducted a scene search. A deceased male identified as Lacount was located in a bedroom area on the first floor. 

The victim’s remains were sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington where an autopsy will determine the manner and cause of death and confirm identity.

The extensive amount of damage limited the investigators in their ability to determine the origin and cause of the fire event, however the fire does not appear to be the result of a criminal act.

Katie Hartnett

Burlington woman drowns in river – the Vermont State Police is investigating the death of a woman who had been reported missing late Friday, July 14 in Richmond. At about noon Saturday, the crew of a Vermont Air National Guard helicopter located the body of Katie Hartnett, 25, of Burlington in the Huntington River adjacent to 1498 Dugway Road.

Technical rescue teams on the ground then began a recovery operation, which took about an hour. Hartnett’s body was taken to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy to confirm the cause and manner of death.

Investigation by the Vermont State Police indicates that Hartnett was visiting the Huntington River upstream of the Huntington Gorge on Friday afternoon when she slipped and fell into the water.

The search and recovery operation on the ground involved about 40 individuals from Colchester Technical Rescue; Stowe Technical Rescue; North Carolina Task Force 2, a swift-water rescue team from Buncombe County that is in Vermont following this week’s widespread flooding; Richmond Rescue; the Vermont Department of Public Safety search and rescue coordinator; and VSP assets including the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program, Field Force, Bureau of Criminal Investigations, and Victim Services Unit.

Fatal crash in Bennington County – Bennington woman died in a single-car crash the morning of July 16.

Vermont State Police responded to a motor vehicle crash located on US RT 7 in Glastenbury.

A car driven by Bradley Hilchey, 22, of Bennington left the northbound lane striking the guardrails. The rear passenger, Dorothy Oshea, 71, was ejected. She was transported to Albany Medical Center and later pronounced dead. Hilchey and the third passenger were uninjured.

Members from the Shaftsbury Fire Department and Arlington Ambulance Squad assisted at the scene.

Categories: Police Reports

2 replies »

  1. Wow, so sad. I have always been an auto enthusiast. I have a fancy sports car which I protect from the elements. Perhaps this was a vehicle with special meaning that he was trying to save. Unfortunately, we will not know what prompted him to try to cheat fate and save his car. Being of similar age, I hope that I am never confronted with this situation. May God bless his family.