Sunday's Silver Sands fire ruled arson


Investigators said Sunday morning’s fire at Silver Sands State Park was intentionally set but have not speculated as to a connection between Sunday’s fire and a large fire March 19 that destroyed several buildings under construction at the park.

“Investigators have determined the Sunday morning fire in storage containers at Silver Sands State Park was intentionally set,” states a press release from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). “Anyone with information is asked to call the Connecticut Arson Hotline at 1-800-84-ARSON. There is a $2,500 reward.”

At approximately 7:20 a.m. on Sunday, March 24, DEEP Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police responded to a report of fires in metal storage containers at Silver Sands State Park in Milford.

The Milford Fire Department quickly extinguished the fires.

“Investigators observed evidence of vandalism at the scene, and are treating the fires as suspicious,” the DEEP said earlier in the day. “The State Police Fire and Explosion Investigating Unit is presently on scene to investigate.”

EnCon Police have increased patrols at the park, DEEP officials said.

“At this time there is no information concerning a connection between this morning’s incident and last Tuesday’s fire at the park that destroyed three buildings under construction,” the DEEP statement reads. “The investigation of last week’s fire is continuing. The park remains open to the public, but visitors are advised to heed signs marking areas that are closed to public access.”

Commissioner Katie Dykes said, “I am grateful as always for the work of first responders and the numerous expressions of support from Milford officials and residents. The unfortunate events of the past week have only strengthened our coordination with community leaders and our commitment to park improvements for all visitors to enjoy.”

Sunday’s fire in two construction trailers was fairly simple to extinguish, said Anthony Fabrizi, battalion chief for Milford.

“It was smaller in nature,” he said.

The trailers stored materials for the controversial $9.1 million project for a new concession building, restrooms, office and maintenance garage at the park. Two of the three almost complete buildings were razed in a fire Tuesday night.

Investigators still have not determined what started the first fire, but were examining whether arson was involved, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Environmental Conservation Police had said. But several sources said Wednesday little indicated the fire was intentionally set.

The park reopened on Friday, but the area near the wreckage was closed.