On Saturday, June 26 around 0900, the Essex Junction Fire Department, Essex Fire Department and Essex Rescue responded to a condo unit on Brickyard Road for a smoke detector activation with an odor of smoke outside the unit.
Engine 7 and Car 9 responded, arriving to find the condo unit with smoke stained windows and a report of a female missing. Colchester Fire was then requested to respond mutual aid with a tower.
EJFD personnel forced entry into the unit and began searching for the occupant, finding light smoke conditions and minimal heat throughout the structure. Personnel found the entire kitchen of the unit to be burned from floor to ceiling, but with no active fire or major smoke, indicating a fire that had burned hours prior and had burned itself out. Personnel continued searching the residence and found a deceased female on the second floor. There was no major fire damage beyond the kitchen, but the multi gas meter was reading 1500 PPM of carbon monoxide, which is incredibly high and rapidly fatal without a respirator.
Once it was determined there was no fire and no overhaul needed to occur, the scene was secured and Vermont State Police Fire Investigators were called.
VSP and Essex Police led a joint investigation into the cause of the fire, which was ruled intentional.
EJFD personnel operated on the scene for approximately four hours before being released by Essex Police.
Any questions regarding this investigation should be directed toward the Essex Police Department.