Police investigating fire at Bernie Sanders’ office as arson

The suspect remains at large, Vermont police said

Police are investigating the fire inside the office of US Senator Bernie Sanders as arson. The incident took place in the veteran politician’s home state of Vermont.

Firefighters were called in on Friday, discovering that the sprinkler system was activated due to a blaze in the lobby between the elevator and the entrance door, the Burlington Fire Department said. There were no injuries.

“The door to the Senator’s office sustained moderate fire damage, and the third floor and floors below sustained significant water damage,” the fire department said.

The police released a statement on Saturday, saying that an unknown male suspect had sprayed a flammable substance, lit it on fire and left the building.

“A significant fire engulfed the door and part of the vestibule, impeding the egress of staff members who were working in the office and endangering their lives,” police said. No motive has been established and no arrests have been made as of yet. Burlington Fire Marshal’s Office added that the fire was deemed “incendiary in nature.”

None of the staff were harmed, the Senator’s team told the press. “We are relieved that no one on our staff and, to our understanding, no one in the building was harmed,” Kathryn Van Haste, state director for Sanders, told the press

A left-wing independent, Sanders was the mayor of Burlington in the 1980s and was elected to Congress in 1987. He has been a senator since 2007.

Sanders fought for the Democratic Party’s nomination during the presidential elections of 2016 and 2020, losing to Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, respectively.