Blue Spruce fire tied to electrical mishap

MIDDLEBURY — The July 12 fire that destroyed the Blue Spruce Motel on Route 7 South was likely the result of an electrical mishap, according to Middlebury fire Chief Dave Shaw.
Investigators have ruled out arson, Shaw added.
Authorities have not pinpointed any specific appliance or wire within the motel building that might have triggered the fire, but they have identified the general location where the blaze began.
“It looks like it started in the center of the structure, above the office,” Shaw said.
That location was unfortunately quite vulnerable to the rapid spread of fire, according to Shaw. Since the building had a common attic, there was no physical “fire stop” to prevent the blaze from spreading and rapidly enveloping the entire structure, Shaw explained.
The Blue Spruce was fully rented on the day of the fire, but all occupants had safely exited the motel either before — or shortly after — the fire call came in at around 7 a.m., according to Sam Sharma, whose family owns the property.
Seven area fire departments responded to the blaze, which quickly consumed the 23-room motel.
Sharma last week said he plans to rebuild the motel, which has served tourists and long-term guests. Among the long-term lodgers last week were several Vermont Gas employees and a handful of low-income families. The Red Cross, Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects and the United Way of Addison County have been among the agencies helping motel guests displaced by the fire.
The motel property was insured, according to Sharma.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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