Multiple crews battle fire at Green Mountain Race Track

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Firefighters battle blaze at Green Mountain Race Course. Photo courtesy of Hoosick Falls Fire Department.

Pownal, Vt. (NEWS10/AP) – Multiple fire crews were on scene after flames engulfed the grandstand of Green Mountain Race Track in Pownal, Vermont. Bennington Fire Department dispatched firefighters to the race track at around 11 p.m. on Wednesday. There is now a reward being offered for information.

The Vermont Arson Tip Award Program offers an award of up to $5,000 for any information that will lead to the arrest of anyone involved in the crime of arson.  You may provide this information by calling The Vermont Arson Tip Award Program hotline at 1-800-322-7766, by contacting Det. Sgt. Steven Otis of the Vermont State Police at the Westminster Barracks at 802-722-4600, or by email at steven.otis@vermont.gov.

The Pownal Fire Department says there is no power going to the building and no reports of lightning so they are investigating the fire as suspicious. Investigators have not gotten a chance to inspect the interior of the building after the fire made the building structurally unsound.

Officials say that there have been reports of small fires there throughout the summer leading investigators to believe young adults are ‘hanging out’ in the area. There have been reports of littering and vandalism and even reports of people driving ATVs throughout the building.

Fire at former Green Mountain Race Track
The burned out former grandstand at the Green Mountain Race Track in Pownal, Vt. (Vermont State Police)

Part of the structure has collapsed into the basement, where the fire continued to burn after the majority of flames had been knocked down.

The following fire departments helped fight the blaze: Pownal Valley FD, Bennington FD, Bennington Rural FD, Shaftsbury FD, Arlington FD, Williamstown FD, Hoosick FD, Hoosick Falls FD, North Hoosick Falls FD, Petersburgh FD, Pittstown FD and Raymer Town FD.

No injuries have been reported at this time, but the building is considered a total loss.

The track opened in 1963 with thoroughbred and harness racing. In the 1970s, it was converted to greyhound racing. It closed in 1991. Over the years there were numerous, unsuccessful efforts to reopen or redevelop the track.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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