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Firefighters finish spraying down the damaged exterior of the welcome center at the Route 279 interchange. (Neal Goswami)
Firefighters finish spraying down the damaged exterior of the welcome center at the Route 279 interchange. (Neal Goswami)
Firefighters finish spraying down the damaged exterior of the welcome center at the Route 279 interchange. (Neal Goswami)
Saturday March 23, 2013

NEAL P. GOSWAMI

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- A state welcome center under construction inside the Route 279 system interchange caught fire Friday evening. Damage was limited to the exterior of the building, according to Bennington Rural Fire Chief Sean Gardner.

Firefighters responded to the construction site around 6:30 p.m., according to Gardner. The south-facing exterior of the building was on fire, he said.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames within about five minutes of their arrival, Gardner said. The ground floor of the structure was filled with smoke, he said.

Firefighters will continue to investigate the cause of the fire, but it appeared to be caused by an on-site heater, Gardner said.

"It looked like it started from a propane heater. We did get some smoke to the second floor but it wasn't enough to start anything up there," he said.

The Bennington Fire Department also responded and assisted.


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