Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2016 6:00 am
by: Loumarie I. Rodriguez
OXFORD – State police and the Oxford Fire Department are investigating two intentionally set fires reported on Sunday, March 13, that destroyed a contractor’s trailer at the CPV Power Plant site on Woodruff Hill.
Fire Chief Scott Pelletier confirmed the two fires were intentionally set. The contractor’s 53-ft trailer, filled with 450 bales of hay for construction purposes, was set on fire around 5 to 6 p.m. The trailer was destroyed.
The second fire, 14 bales of hay also for construction purposes, was discovered on Woodruff Hill Road not far from the trailer.
Chief Pelletier reported the trailer did not appear to have been locked. He said CPV and contractors plan to take additional security steps on the property.
“It was not a naturally caused fire,” said Chief Pelletier.
Both Sgt. Dan Semosky and Chief Pelletier said they are looking into all possibilities in the investigation.
Oxford Airport reported the fire around 7 p.m., according to Chief Pelletier.
First Selectman George Temple stated he will not tolerate this kind of behavior and takes fire matters very seriously.
“The nearby woods could have caught fire,” said Mr. Temple. “There are wetlands there as well.”
He told Voices he understands this could have been caused by juveniles playing a prank. Mr. Temple said in a prepared statement the power plant has been a point of heated contention by community members in Oxford.
“Some people may consider this activity to be a harmless prank, but I do not share that view,” said Mr. Temple. “Anytime a our fire apparatus has to roll, there is the potential of injury to our firefighters or an innocent civilian. The fire could have spread and destroyed a very significant wetlands.”
He stated people who start fires are called arsonists and if caught will be a subject to a felony prosecution.
He said the town and CPV are taking steps to insure a safe working environment at all industrial sites.
“Be assured that the town supports our first responders and will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law of any individual who attempts to compromise their safety,” Mr. Temple said in his prepared statement.