News Briefs

Five escape blaze but house, cars a total loss

Photo courtesy of VSP

Police photograph of the house taken from the South Burlington Fire Department’s ladder truck after the fire was extinguished.

SOUTH BURLINGTON — On Monday, July 4, at approximately 3:45 a.m. the South Burlington Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 213 Cobblestone Circle in South Burlington after receiving a 911 call. Upon their arrival emergency personnel saw that the entire front of the house was in flames.

Owners of the house, Kevin and Nikki Sleeper reportedly woke up at 3:40 a.m. to the smell of smoke coming into their second story bedroom windows. They then saw the glow of the fire on the area outside the front porch of the house. They were able to grab their 22-month-old daughter from her second floor bedroom and escape out a side door on the first floor. The Sleeper had two guests in the basement they had to alert as well, but they were able to do so and everybody made it out of the home safely.

At 4:30 a.m. Captain Craig Rounds of the South Burlington Fire Department contacted the Vermont State Police (VSP) and Division of Fire Safety (DFS) to request an origin and cause investigation. Detective Sergeant Todd Ambroz from the VSP and Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Spicer from the DFS responded to the residence at 5:30 a.m.

Based on statements of the occupants, the first responding fire fighters, and an examination of the scene, the fire was determined to have started on the outside porch area on the front of the house. A recessed/can light that was above the front door in the ceiling of the overhang porch was the only competent source of ignition that was able to be located in the area of origin. Due to the extensive damage to the home and the structural integrity being compromised the electrical system could not be traced back completely to the source of the problem.

The home  and vehicles parked in the garage are considered a total loss.  An estimate of damage of the home, contents, and vehicles is approximately $750,000.

This fire is not considered suspicious, but anyone having any information, photographs or videos, is encouraged to contact Detective Sergeant Todd Ambroz at the Williston Barracks at 878-7111 or via email at

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