Police Reports

Police still seek cause of Williamstown church fire

State police now know where the fire began, but they’re still trying to determine what started the blaze that destroyed a 250-year-old church in Williamstown.

State Police say that at about 10:30 PM on April 26, 2021 several 911 calls were received about a fire at the United Federated Church in Williamstown.  The Williamstown Fire Department and several nearby fire departments responded to the blaze in an attempt to save the building.  Initially it was believed the fire started in the steeple area of the church and the DPS Fire & Explosion Unit was not requested to come to the scene.  On April 28, a private fire investigator for the insurance company contacted the FEIU to ask for assistance regarding the origin and cause of the fire due to what appeared to be a very low level of burn on the interior of the building. 

Members of the FEIU immediately responded to the fire scene to conduct an examination of the building.  After two days of excavating the fire scene, the area of origin was determined to have occurred on the interior of the building inside of a hollowed out area that extended from the first floor to the third floor of the building that housed 950 pounds of weights for the large clock and church bell.  The fire spread from the first floor, up to the third floor, where it eventually became visible as it vented into the steeple. 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation and is undetermined at this time.   The 250 year old wood frame church is a historical icon in Williamstown and is considered a total loss.  Nobody was injured during the fire and the building was unoccupied when the fire began.  Anyone having any information is asked to please contact Det. Sgt. Todd Ambroz of the Vermont State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit at 802-229-9191 or by email at todd.ambroz@vermont.gov.


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