- Courtesy of Jim Lovinsky
- The fire-damaged building
No one was injured in the blaze, which broke out in the first-floor office of the unoccupied Village Center Apartments building on Sunday morning.
The 24-unit complex was on track for a late summer opening, but work has been halted while inspectors determine the cause of the fire and the development team figures out next steps, said Jim Lovinsky, executive director of the Lamoille Housing Partnership, which owns the structure.
“It’s disappointing for sure and pretty distressing,” he said on Tuesday.
Emergency dispatchers received a report shortly after 8 a.m. of black smoke pouring from the building, according to the Vermont Community Newspaper Group, which first reported on the incident.
Nearly 50 firefighters from Morrisville, Hyde Park and Stowe helped battle the fire, the Lamoille Housing Partnership said in a press release. Photos that Lovinsky took that morning show the building’s unfinished exterior scorched black above first-story windows.
The blaze broke out in an office that initially will provide intake services for new residents. The eventual plan is to rent the space for commercial use, Lovinsky said.
- File: Kevin Mccallum ©️ Seven Days
- Jim Lovinsky
While the fire was contained to the first floor, smoke damage could prove more extensive and difficult to remediate, Lovinsky said. The kind of thick black smoke the fire produced tends to stick to surfaces, and the odor can be difficult to remove, he said.
“We’re going to have to reset the schedule,” Lovinsky said.
In its statement, the organization thanked the firefighters who contained the blaze, the person who reported it, and others who have stepped forward to help.