Arrest Made in Vt. Church Fire; Suspect Released

Sept. 04--DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Vermont State Police have arrested a local man in connection with a fire authorities say was deliberately set at the Congregational Church in Dummerston Center Monday night.

According to a State Police news release, Dakota Thomas, 19, was charged with second-degree arson in connection with the incident. He made an appearance in a Brattleboro courtroom Wednesday and was released on conditions. He is scheduled to be back in Windham Superior Court in Brattleboro Oct. 14 to answer to the charge. State Police did not indicate what led them to Thomas.

The fire at the historic church on Middle Road was reported just after 10:30 p.m. Monday. Numerous fire departments responded. A passerby who noticed smoke was able to contain the blaze with a fire extinguisher inside the church until firefighters arrived, and the fire departments were able to suppress the fire completely.

The Dummerston Fire Department called in State Police to determine the cause of the blaze. Investigators quickly determined that the fire had been set intentionally.

Police said damage to the church was estimated at $25,000.

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