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15 Bennington Rural firefighters suspended

BENNINGTON -- Fifteen firefighters with the Bennington Rural Fire Department were suspended for their roles in a "Mudder’s Day" stunt last month in which a trailer was set on fire and a car drove through it.

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation received at least one complaint of air pollution. Mudder’s Day did not receive a permit for the burn.

“We do issue permits for open burning, but in situations like this, it’s unlikely that a permit would have been issued,” said Gary Kessler, Director of Compliance and Enforcement for the DEC. “We don’t want people to burn things that cause significant pollution.”

Investigators are interviewing witnesses and reviewing a video posted online to determine who was involved.

“We could issue a citation for a ticket for a relatively modest fine all the way up to a more significant enforcement action by the environmental court,” said Kessler, who added the fine could be up to $3,000.

BRFD Chief Shawn Gardner did not return a call seeking comment and it is unclear what role the firefighters played in the stunt.

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