MIDDLETOWN SPRINGS, Vt. (NEWS10) — Vermont state police say they arrested Scott Saltis, 46, of Poultney on Monday, for his involvement with a structure fire that destroyed a remote camp in Middletown Springs in May.
On May 16 at about 12:51 p.m., the Middletown Springs Fire Department responded to a reported fire on Saw Mill Hill Road. Firefighters found a fully involved structure fire at the single-story camp, and most of the camp structure had already burned down.
They began to fight the fire, but could not save the structure, owned by Richard Lantman of Ira. Minor injuries were reported, including by Saltis, who emerged from the woods to say he was injured in the fire.
Saltis also told firefighters on the scene several times that he set the fire because he had the coronavirus, and that snipers had him in their crosshairs. Investigators learned Saltis had been trespassing on the property to live in the structure, despite numerous trespass notices by police and Lantman.
Fire Chief Joe Castle contacted the Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit of Vermont’s Department of Public Safety for help proving the cause of the suspicious fire. The investigation concluded that Saltis set the fire deliberately, although his whereabouts were unknown at the time.
When police found Saltis, they also discovered he had an outstanding warrant for a prior unlawful trespass charge. His charges stemming from the alleged May 16 arson include first-degree arson, unlawful mischief, and another unlawful trespass charge.
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