Business Owners: Millions of Dollars Lost in Equipment

Five of the nine businesses at the industrial park were impacted by the fire on Tuesday.

HARTFORD-A group of business owners devastated by fire gathered Thursday morning with the Vermont Department of Labor, Town of Hartford and Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation to discuss next steps for them and their employees.

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A total of 27 employees were affected by the fire Tuesday morning at the  industrial park on Harrison Avenue known as White River Investment Properties, LLC. Most of them were still working as of Thursday, but the loss was significant to the businesses.

Employers lost a combined millions of dollars' worth of equipment.

Teddy's Lawn Care and Landscaping Services lost lawnmowers, snowblowers, a dump truck and a tractor. Owner Trevor has three employees. He said he'd need to buy new snow equipment if it snows again before winter is over.

Solarflect Energy lost solar equipment that will take at least two months to get back. Owner Bill Bender said his seven employees are working from home and temporary locations.

Sue Kay, who operates both Eustis Cable and Argent Communications,  secured temporary office space up a hill from the industrial park for her 12 employees. White River Traffic owner Kenny Keith planned to move his five employees there also.

Kay and Keith co-own the industrial park, which has nine businesses in total, including their own. 

The cause of the fire was left undetermined by state agencies. Insurance adjusters were reviewing video footage to determine a cause.

The Department of Labor offered to help businesses find discounts to replace equipment or secure donations. 

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