South Royalton Woman Dies in Saturday Night Fire

  • Roberta Staples was killed in a fire in the Royalton, Vt., home she shared with her husband Timothy Staples late Saturday night April 14, 2018. Timothy Staples escaped the fire, but was unable to rescue his wife. The cause of the fire was still under investigation Sunday, April 15, 2018. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • courtesy Vermont State Police A fire at 2032 North Road in South Royalton killed Roberta Staples, 60, who lived in the house. Staples' husband, Timothy, survived the blaze.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

South Royalton — Police said a 60-year-old South Royalton woman was killed in a fire that engulfed her house late Saturday night.

Roberta Staples died inside her 2032 North Road home in a blaze that drew firefighters from three Upper Valley communities, according to a Vermont State Police news release.

The fire is still under investigation and police have yet to determine a cause, State Police Sgt. Todd Ambroz said in an email on Sunday afternoon.

Police said a neighbor called 911 and reported the blaze shortly after 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, after a man pounding at her door woke her up.

The man, Timothy Staples, had fled his home when his wife, Roberta, alerted him to the fire.

He later tried to get back into the house but extreme heat and smoke kept him out, according to the release.

Troopers from the Vermont State Police Royalton Barracks and South Royalton firefighters responded to the scene.

However, ice and snow covered roads “made the response even more difficult,” the release said, which added that the house was beginning to collapse when first responders arrived.

Firefighters from Bethel and Barnard also were called to help fight the blaze, according to Bethel Chief David Aldrighetti, as Roberta Staples was believed to still be inside. A firefighter later found her body, which was taken to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Burlington.

An autopsy is scheduled for today, according to Ambroz, who was called to investigate the death early Sunday morning.

Police are asking anyone with information about the fire to call Ambroz at 802-878-7111, or Vermont State Police Trooper Christopher Blais at 802-722-4600.