2017-07-17 / Front Page

1 dead in Townshend barn fire

TOWNSHEND — Public safety officials are investigating a fatal barn fire that claimed the life of an employee at a horse farm in Townshend early Sunday morning.

The Townshend Volunteer Fire Department responded at about 12:30 a.m. to a report of a large structure fire at the Friesians of Majesty horse farm on Maggie Ladd Road. First responders found a large barn with an attached two-unit apartment on the second floor fully engulfed and called mutual aid, raising the fire to a fifth alarm.

As crews battled the blaze, it was learned that one of the farm employees hadn’t been accounted for, and that fellow employees said he may have been located in the barn.

“The entire barn had been consumed by fire, and the second floor collapsed down onto the first,” officials with the Vermont State Police Fire Investigation Unit said in a statement Sunday night.

Fire investigators learned through interviews that the victim may have been in the area of the lab, which is also the location where the fire appeared to start. The body was later uncovered and transported to the office of the chief medical examiner in Burlington, where an autopsy will be performed.

The name of the victim is not being released pending identification of the body and notification of next of kin.

Officials say the fire doesn’t appear to be suspicious in nature, but that it is still under investigation. Anyone with more information regarding the fire can call Vermont State Police at (802) 748-3111.

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