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Brighton man charged following series of suspicious fires and explosions

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BRIGHTON — A Brighton resident faces multiple charges following a series of suspicious incidents, including fires and explosions, that plagued the area from August 24-29, 2022.

Avery Buchman, 64, of Brighton, is accused of possession of destructive devices, possession and use of explosives, burglary, possession of stolen property, and unlawful mischief.

The series of events began on the morning of August 24, when the Brighton Fire Department responded to a report of a structure fire on 629 Gideons Mill Rd. Upon arrival, firefighters found a camp completely engulfed in flames. Fortunately, no injuries were reported despite the camp being occupied at the time.

Following an assessment by Brighton Fire Chief Richard Hannux, the Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit (FEIU) was called to assist. Their initial findings labeled the circumstances surrounding the fire as suspicious.

Subsequent reports detailed loud explosions heard by locals and another camp at 905 Gideons Mill Rd showing signs of a break-in and evidence of poured accelerants.

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On August 29, Essex’s County Sheriff Trevor Colby received information about two loud explosions and a bright flash originating from the previously mentioned camp on 905 Gideons Mill Rd. FEIU investigators determined the explosion was due to human intervention and deemed it suspicious.

Later that day, state police troopers were alerted by residents of 870 Gideons Mill Rd that Buchman had set off an incendiary device near their home’s propane tank, a parked vehicle, and their occupied dwelling. The homeowners managed to douse the flames.

Two days later, on August 31, a search warrant was executed at a residence on 823 Gideons Mill Rd, where authorities collected evidence.

The ongoing investigation culminated in the charges brought against Buchman.

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