Jericho fire caused by smoking materials, damages exceed $75,000

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JERICHO — A structure fire on VT Route 15 was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials, the Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit concluded after a Feb. 1 incident that led to significant property damage and the displacement of four tenants.

The Underhill/Jericho Fire Department received the call at approximately 6:27 p.m. and quickly responded to the scene.

Upon arrival, fire crews encountered flames emanating from an enclosed porch at the back of the building.

The fire was successfully contained to the lower apartment, preventing it from spreading further.

Although the upstairs apartment only suffered minor smoke and water damage, the downstairs unit where the fire originated was heavily affected.

A firefighter sustained a burn injury during the efforts to control the blaze but no other injuries were reported.

The property, owned by 53-year-old Peter Mutolo, and the belongings inside sustained damages estimated to be over $75,000.

The tenants have been forced to find alternative accommodations due to the damage caused by the fire.

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