Stowe fire causes over $1.6 million in damages to outdoor gear rental business

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STOWE — A fire at Kit Lender, an outdoor gear rental company in Stowe, caused more than $1.6 million in damages on May 8.

The Stowe Fire Department received a call at about 3:45 p.m. and upon arrival found flames erupting from a second-story window of the business located at 352 South Main Street.

The fire quickly spread to the roof and other areas of the building.

Firefighters, with aid from the Waterbury and Morrisville Fire Departments, contained the blaze.

The following day, the Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit (FEIU) conducted an investigation, which traced the fire’s origin to the breakroom on the second floor.

The cause is believed to be an electrical fault in a wall outlet, with no indication of direct human involvement.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

The business, owned by Forrest Shinners, suffered significant losses, with inventory and contents largely destroyed or badly damaged.

The estimated loss includes more than $1.4 million in inventory and an additional $200,000 to the structure itself.

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