HARTFORD -- The cause of the Jan. 28 fire that destroyed a historic Route 40 home remains under investigation but a large sign has popped up in front of the home, accusing a contractor of fraud as part of a dispute over demolition of the charred remains.
Washington County Fire Investigator John Aiken said the extent of the damage has slowed efforts to figure out what caused the early morning fire that destroyed the vacant rental home. The fire remains under investigation, and Aiken said no determination has been made whether it was accidental or suspicious.
An apparent dispute over demolition of the remains has led to a large sign being posted in front of the home accusing a local contractor of being a “bully and a con man.”
State Police said the owner refused a $41,000 demolition bid from the contractor, and the contractor later notified an unspecified state agency that there may be asbestos in the building, which resulted in a “stop work” order, pending tests for asbestos.