NEWPORT — Investigators say that a fire that broke out in Newport early this morning is considered suspicious.
The structure fire took place at a residence on Prospect Street at around 1:23 a.m.
Authorities say that the fire started in a room on the first floor of the two-story structure.
The windows in the room broke from heat and pressure, and the fire began to exit the building through the windows and extend towards the second floor.
Fire personnel were able to suppress the fire quickly, preventing any subsequent fire spread or further damage to the building or other surrounding structures.
The building contained two separate apartments.
The second-floor apartment had been vacant for some time and the tenants in the first-floor were in the process of moving out and not currently residing there.
Witnesses told police they’ve seen people entering and exiting the first-floor apartment on a regular basis, and several people were seen entering and exiting the apartment shortly before the fire was reported.
There were no reported injuries, however, the building sustained extensive first-floor fire, smoke, and water damage.
Fire investigators responded to the scene later this morning and began an origin and cause investigation.
According to a statement issued by investigators, the cause remains under investigation and is considered suspicious.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Michael LaCourse at the Derby Barracks at 802-334-8881, Sgt. Charles Moulton at the Newport City Police Department at 802-334-6733 or by contacting the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program(VATAP) hotline at 1-800-32-ARSON(1-800-322-7766).
The VATAP will pay up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.