Hardwick man charged with arson, insurance fraud

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HARDWICK — A 39-year-old resident of Hardwick was arrested for arson today. 

Police say Raymond E. Pickett has been charged with first-degree arson and insurance fraud.

Back on August 5, an investigation was opened into the origin and cause of a fire that broke out at a residential structure fire at 73 Woodbury Street in Hardwick.

Investigators say they were able to determine the origin of the fire as being in the basement at the base of the staircase.

Police say numerous inconsistencies were discovered in testimonial evidence provided by the homeowner that also contradicted the evidence examined at the fire scene.

The investigation led to the arrest of Pickett.

Pickett was flash-cited today into court to answer the charges of first-degree arson and insurance fraud.

He is scheduled to appear at the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in St. Johnsbury tomorrow.