Home News and Features rk Miles Structure Fire Destroys Buildings; Fire Truck Burns

rk Miles Structure Fire Destroys Buildings; Fire Truck Burns

Firefighters battled a massive structure fire at rk Miles lumber yard on Stone Cutters Way in Montpelier on Wed. Nov. 1 2023. Photo by John Lazenby.
A massive structure fire on Stone Cutters Way in Montpelier started around 6 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, Nov. 1, and has decimated all of the warehouses at the rk Miles lumber yard, and endangered its office building, the Clothespin Factory next door, and other buildings in the area. See photo galley at the end of this story.

“Bad news is that the City lost a fire engine which got caught in a wind change and burned up. Good news is that we have no reported injuries so far,” stated a Facebook post for the City of Montpelier.

Montpelier firefighters were on the scene and were quickly joined by dozens of mutual aid responders from throughout central Vermont.

As of this writing, the structure is still burning. The Hunger Mountain Co-op, which is located mere feet from the fully involved buildings at rk Miles, appeared unharmed. 

High winds blew smoke, fire, and embers toward Granite Street as the fire engulfed at least three buildings, burned down telephone lines and poles, and caused multiple explosions. There did not appear to be anyone hurt, but firefighters are still on the scene and are not available for immediate comment. 

The heat from the fire caused the vinyl siding to peel from the housing unit located across Stone Cutters Way and across the railroad tracks. 

Co-op customer and nearby resident John Jose said he saw a plume of black smoke coming from behind the co-op as he walked into the co-op to shop this evening. 

“I walked around and saw the flames shooting out,” he said. “I grabbed John (Allin, a co-op employee) and told him what was going on. … then I called it in.”

Allin said he helped get people out of the co-op building as the fire continued to build in the rk Miles warehouses next door. The wind blew in a favorable direction for the co-op but less so for the buildings on the Granite Street side of the fully involved fire.

“It was surreal,” said Jose. “I went in and people were still shopping.”

Mutual aid arrived from surrounding fire stations, including Barre City and Northfield.