The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

Virtue Field fire prompts investigation

Photo Courtesy of Maya Carpenter
Fire on Virtue Field April 20.

On April 20 at 1 a.m., students received a UVM CATAlert for a fire on Virtue Field.

A media advisory was sent at 1:17 p.m. that day pinpointing the fire at the storage sheds and that no injuries were reported. 

“On the west side of Virtue Field, just on the other side of the fence, there’s a longer shed that’s about four feet deep by 20 or 25 feet long,” said Barry Simays, University fire marshal and deputy emergency manager. “It’s a wooden storage shed that typically stores athletic equipment.” 

The fire began around 12:45 a.m., said senior Will Mitchell.

“I live in the Redstone Lofts, and me, my girlfriend and [my friend] were all hanging out in the living room,” Mitchell said. “And we just turned and there was a big fire right outside the window.”

While Simays did not see the fire when it started, the Burlington Fire Department and UVM Police Services initially responded to the scene, he said.

“After the fire, the physical plant administrator on call was involved and they were brought in to assist,” he said. 

The ​​physical plant performs the maintenance and upkeep on all mechanical, utilities, building systems and physical infrastructure and grounds of the University campus, according to the UVM Facilities Management page.

“Once the fire investigation was completed by the City of Burlington Fire Marshal, the property was turned back over to the University and physical plant assisted athletics with removing the remaining debris,” Simays said. “The shed that was involved in the fire was fully destroyed.”

UVM Police Services are still investigating the cause of the fire, but suspect the fire to be suspicious in nature, according to the April 20 media advisory.

“Just knowing what’s over there, it’s not like it was a gas leak and there’s nothing electrical,” Mitchell said. “I feel like it was suspicious and someone might have started it, just because it feels like there was nothing to start it on its own.”

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Barrie North at UVM Police Services at 802-656-3473.

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About the Contributor
Maxine Thornton
Maxine Thornton, Managing Editor
(She/her) Maxine Thornton is a sophomore English major from Nyack, N.Y and serves as the managing editor at the Vermont Cynic. She started at the Cynic as a features staff writer before serving as features editor in 2023. In her free time, Maxine enjoys playing guitar, cooking and fighting sharks. Email [email protected] to get in contact with Maxine.