Chester property owner ticketed for unpermitted building fire

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2019 Telegraph Publishing, LLC

A property owner on Nudist Camp Road in Chester burned to the ground a cabin he bought in October on Monday afternoon sending fire trucks from a host of neighboring towns to the scene.

Chester firefighters arrive at the burning cabin. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

Just before 5 p.m., the Chester Fire Department was alerted to a “fully involved structure fire” on Nudist Camp Road, which is off Popple Dungeon Road, but a police officer who went to the scene reported that the fire was a “permitted burn.”

Fire Chief Matt Wilson continued to the fire, where he found a large cabin completely collapsed with the only the brick chimney standing.

Owner Victor Superchi told The Telegraph that he had purchased the property including the cabin, barn and out buildings across from his house at Nudist Camp and Williams roads. He said the barn and outbuildings were good, but the cabin was not in good shape, had no water and he was “tired of looking at it.”

A firefighter makes a close inspection of the blaze

Superchi said he had taken out a burn permit with Fire Warden Jeff Holden on Saturday noting that the work he intended to do might take several days. After removing the contents including the windows, Superchi said he set it on fire.

A neighbor saw the fire on Monday and called it in.

Wilson told The Telegraph that because the fire was said to be permitted and mostly burned down, he was calling the fire warden to see if it should be extinguished. After looking at the fire and speaking with Superchi, Holden gave the firefighters the go ahead to put out the fire.

After conferring with Fire Warden Jeff Holden, firefighters extinguish the flames

By 6:30 p.m., most of the responding departments had been release and by 7 p.m., the Chester department was back in the fire station.

On Monday evening, Holden said that Superchi had indeed had a permit for burning brush over the weekend, but did not have a permit for the structure fire.

According to Holden Superchi was given a ticket for “illegal burning of solid waste” which is a civil violation. Holden confirmed that most of the hazardous material had been removed from the building.

In addition to Chester, Proctorsville, Grafton, Rockingham, Springfield and Bellows Falls came to the fire while Bellows Falls and Windham covered the Chester station. Both Chester and Ludlow Ambulance crews responded, but there were no injuries.

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  1. arlene mutschler says:

    Don’t know how all this works, but it seems this man jeopardized the whole community by wasting the time of those FD for that much time. What if a real emergency had happened? Was too lazy or cheap to have the building razed legally?