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The Dartmouth
May 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Hanover High student arrested for Foodstop fire

A 17-year-old Hanover High student was arrested over the weekend for allegedly causing the Nov. 7 fire in the gas pump islands of Foodstop convenience store on Main Street.

Asa Palmer, a resident of Bradford, Vt., was charged with reckless conduct, a misdemeanor, Hanover Police Chief Nick Giaccone said.

"The charges allege that Palmer acted recklessly by flicking his lighter in the direction of a girl pumping gas into her car," Giaccone said.

"The lighter flame caught the vapors coming out of the pump causing a fire," Giaccone said. "The heat from the fire triggered the fire suppression equipment which dropped white foam from the top of the fuel pumps."

Palmer's identity was known at the time of the incident but police waited nine days to file charges so they could interview witnesses.

"We had to question all of the witnesses as to what they saw," Giaccone said. "We wanted to eliminate any possibility that it could have been done accidentally before we presented the evidence to a judge to see if there was probable cause."

The estimated cost of the incident will exceed $10,000, according to a Hanover Police Department press release.

The estimate includes the cost of repairing the damaged pump, cleaning up the islands, recharging the fire suppression equipment and cleaning the three vehicles that were damaged in the fire.

Palmer declined to comment.