Hazmat team searches East Arlington home

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EAST ARLINGTON — A hazardous materials team was at a home on Wednesday for what Vermont State Police say is an ongoing criminal investigation.

Authorities did not say what the investigation was related to, but did say there is no risk to the public.

Police, fire and hazmat officials spent most of the day at the home, located in the 1100 block of East Arlington Road. By mid-afternoon, men in blue hazmat suits had removed a significant amount of trash from the home and taken it to the side yard.

Investigators needed health protection in order to execute a search warrant related to a criminal investigation, Scott Waterman, public information officer for the state police, said in news release on Wednesday afternoon. He said the statement was issued to address concerns from the public.

"This is not a response for a clandestine methamphetamine lab or any other hazardous materials, however the condition of the house has required protection for investigators as they move through the home conducting their search," he stated. "There is no public safety risk or concern associated with this search or the property itself."

Neighbors and area residents reported seeing a heavy police presence at the home on Tuesday evening, when half-a-dozen cruisers were at the residence.

The police activity comes a week after police first said they were treating the death of an elderly woman as a homicide. Helen Jones, 81, was found in her home by a friend the night of Jan. 4. Her Buck Hill Road home is less than half-a-mile away from the home on East Arlington Road. Troopers say she was stabbed and that they found evidence of a break-in; they've also gotten several other reports of recent burglaries in the area.

Police did not say whether or not the latest incident is related to the homicide investigation.

Troopers with the state police, members of the Vermont State Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Response team, and members of the Arlington Fire Department responded to the scene.

Reach Edward Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111 or @edamon_banner.


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