CONTACT: Lisa Patlis, (802) 861-3814

MORRISVILLE, VT – On Wednesday, July 20th at 9:30AM, a fire broke out in an apartment in the Bemis Block Apartments building located in downtown Hardwick. The fire was caused by a lit candle in a resident’s apartment. The sprinkler system immediately doused the fire which successfully prevented it from spreading throughout the building and endangering other residents. Area firefighters and emergency crews responded to the site quickly. Upon assessment of the scene, firefighters turned off the sprinkler system. Firefighters remained on site and were joined by building management technicians and clean up professionals to assess the damage.

No injuries to people or property damages in the vicinity related to the fire are known at this time. A building assessment is underway by insurance professionals. The cause of the fire is known and not considered suspicious. Assessment and clean-up efforts are ongoing.

Substantial smoke and water damage occurred in the apartment where the fire originated. Further water damage affected two additional apartments, hallways, the basement, and the Galaxy Bookstore and Scale House restaurant which are located at street level below the apartments.

Co-owners and co-developers, Lamoille Housing Partnership and Evernorth, are relieved that no one was hurt and grateful to the first responders’ professionalism and expediency.

“We are deeply committed to our residents and the Hardwick community. LHP and our development and community partners are working with immediately affected Bemis Block residents and business owners to learn what their needs are, and make arrangements to get these folks what they need so that we can get them back on their feet as quickly as possible,” said Jim Lovinsky, Executive Director, Lamoille Housing Partnership.

Located on South Main Street in downtown Hardwick, Bemis Block Apartments is a mixed use affordable housing development. Two commercial spaces at street level anchor the building, and 14 income eligible apartments upstairs are rented by lower and moderate income seniors. The original Bemis Block building experienced a devastating fire in 2005, and was bought and redeveloped by Lamoille Housing Partnership and Evernorth; the first residents moved in in 2008.