Man denies arson charge in Vt. church fireThe Associated Press | October 24,2013BURLINGTON - A Burlington man was charged Wednesday with setting fire to an historic church downtown.
Alaiksandr Bychkou, 32, told authorities that voices told him there was a treasure in the steeple at the College Street Congregational Church, according to a police affidavit.
Police were called at 5:34 a.m. after the custodian at the College Street Congregational Church found a door open and heard someone in the steeple.
Bychkou was found inside and was initially taken into custody on a charge of unlawful trespass, police said. Shortly afterward, the bell tower erupted in flames.
Bychkou pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon to second-degree arson and burglary and was jailed for lack of $25,000 bail.
A judge ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation.
The fire was largely contained to the church steeple and the building is not a total loss, Fire Chief Seth Lasker said. A church official told the Burlington Free Press that engineers determined that the steeple must be removed.
"Engineers have told us that we need to take it down before it falls down," said Nick Hardin, a member of the College Street Congregational Church.MORE IN This Just InPITTSFORD – The Select Board meets tonight at 6:30 to hear a presentation by Green Lantern... Full StoryTODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Flood watch in effect for Rutland County, developing El Nino shaping up to be extreme this year, Don DeLillo on the season's warming trend and Veena catches digital sniffles, all in today's minute. 0Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Dramatic river rescue in Southern Vermont, Castleton moving ahead on sale of old town office building, Passover celebrated in Woodstock.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Woodstock Ave. lane reconfiguration trial will go forward despite resistance, Rutland city engineer decamps for greener pastures in flatlands, technology changes the way many people file tax returns.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Gulf wildlife still dying from 2010 BP oil spill, Veena in Cabo San Lucas, Gertrude Stein on family living, all in today's minute.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Police officer identified in deadly Brattleboro shooting, school consolidation boosters silent on savings, lawmakers nix legal marijuana for PTSD and scrap yard helps solve half-ton heist.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Coyotes are true American survivors, Veena on Narragansett Pier, Vladimir Nabokov in Paris.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Bad crash in Rutland Town sends driver to hospital, natural gas pipeline get support from Addison County Planning Commission.