Home About Archives RSS Feed

Lightning Strikes Williamstown Home

Tammy Daniels

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A single-family residence at 41 John St. was heavily damaged by fire early Saturday morning after a lightning bolt apparently bounced off a nearby pine tree and struck the roof. It was the second time in as many years that the town's suffered a devastating strike.

The renovated attic space of the home, owned by Robert Crosky, was gutted by flames as firefighters battled the blaze for an hour and a half in a downpour before getting it under control.

Chief Craig Pedercini takes pictures of the scene. Right, the tree that was struck is close to the house.

"We made a couple of advances but we were pushed back," said Fire Chief Craig Pedercini early Saturday afternoon, as he stood next a pile of personal items and sopping insulation in the back yard. "We had to take a defensive mode and hit it heavy from the outside."

The difficulty in accessing the third floor was compounded by the home's configuration; lots of hose had to be hauled up stairs and down hallways. On the third try, firefighters were able to get into the area and contain the blaze.

"The guys did a great job — from here, from Pownal, from Clarksburg — as far as I'm concerned," said Pedercini.

The Clarksburg and Pownal, Vt., fire departments were called in for mutual aid, a standard practice for structure fires. The Stamford, Vt., Fire Department covered the Clarksburg station.

The big cracking boom over Williamstown could be heard from Pownal to Clarksburg, waking many from slumber at about 3 a.m.

It woke Pedercini out of a sound sleep. He said all he could think was "I hope that didn't hit anything." But minutes later, the reports came in of a fire at the corner of John and Manning streets, a dense neighborhood. By the time firefighters arrived, flames were coming through the roof.

Crosky was home alone; his wife and two children were out of town. Pedercini said Crosky told him he was wakened by the boom and went into the hallway and saw ceiling plaster on the floor and flames peeking through a hole in the ceiling. He immediately called 911.

Pedercini didn't want to speculate on the cost of the damage, other than to say it would be significant. The third floor's two bedrooms and a bathroom were destroyed, large sections of roof are gone and the downstairs was heavily damaged.

"There was a tremendous amount of water damage and some smoke damage," said Pedercini. "It's going to be a total renovation."

The 80-foot pine outside the front door was scarred by the lightning but didn't appear otherwise damaged, although Pedericini said he's suggested the homeowner have it checked. The family's pet dog and bird also survived the blaze.

Crosky was busy with an insurance adjuster and figuring out what he and his family were going to do next. "I have to find where we're going to live for now."

In August 2008, a bolt of lightning hit the hay barn at Bonnie Lea Farm, burning it to the ground; two horses had been killed lightning there in 2005. A month before that, a strike barely missed a home on Pine Cobble Road, taking out the backyard swing set instead.

"It's devastating. We leave but the homeowner still has to deal with this," said Pedercini. "But you know, the communities ... just come together and offer their assistance."


View Larger Map
At right, the bolt left a large scar nearly three-quarters of the way up the tree.

 

6 Comments
Tags: fire, house, lightning      
News Headlines
Williams Men's Basketball Reaches Conference Final
Pittsfield Continues Process of Cleaning Up Old Debt
Clarksburg Finance Committee Working to Close FY19 Budget Gap
BRTA Paratransit Drivers Accept Contract, Reject Strike
Hoosac Valley Eighth-Graders Offer Taste of Renaissance Living
MCLA Stages Adaptation of 'Rhinoceros'
Williams' Talbot in Top 10 in Slalom at NCAA Regional
ThunderFest Returns This Weekend With Snow Train Rides
Democrats Meeting Across Berkshire County
Norman Rockwell Museum Appoints Chief Philanthropy Officer

Police Logs

Pittsfield Police

North Adams

Crimewatch Links

North Adams CrimeWatch

Stamford/Clarksburg CrimeWatch

Pittsfield CrimeWatch

Emergency: 911
Adams 413-743-1212
Clarksburg 413-663-7795
Cheshire 413-743-1501
Dalton 413-684-0300
Great Barrington 413-528-0306
Lanesborough 413-443-4107
Lee 413-243-2100
Lenox 413-637-2346
North Adams 413-664-4944
Pittsfield 413-448-9700
Richmond 413-698-3315
Stockbridge 413-298-4179
Williamstown 413-458-5733
West Stockbridge 413-232-7938
State Police  
Cheshire Barracks
413-743-
4700
Lee Barracks 413-243-0600
Shaftsbury, Vt., Barracks 802-442-3263

 



Categories:
Adams (66)
Alford (0)
Becket (6)
Cheshire (20)
Clarksburg (38)
Dalton (5)
Egremont (2)
Florida (7)
Great Barrington (23)
Hancock (5)
Hinsdale (3)
Lanesborough (25)
Lee (14)
Lenox (11)
Monterey (0)
Mount Washington (0)
New Ashford (5)
New Marlborough (1)
North Adams (203)
Otis (2)
Peru (2)
Pittsfield (240)
Pownal (13)
Readsboro (14)
Richmond (7)
Sandisfield (5)
Savoy (5)
Sheffield (2)
Stamford (30)
State (1)
Stockbridge (5)
Tyringham (1)
Washington (1)
West Stockbridge (1)
Williamstown (70)
Windsor (3)
Archives:
February 2018 (9)
January 2018 (18)
December 2017 (11)
November 2017 (12)
October 2017 (13)
September 2017 (16)
August 2017 (13)
July 2017 (8)
Tags:
Break-ins Injuries Larceny Robbery Fatal Fraud Armed Robbery Missing Persons Mvi Shooting Stabbing Pedestrians Search Assaults Fire Drug Charges Assault Homicide Drugs Buglaries Murder Cocaine Police Investigation Rape Crime Watch Police Motor Vehicle Accident Firearms Motor Vehicle Heroin Structure Fire Accident Vehicle Hit & Run Veremko
Popular Entries:
North Adams Woman Killed in Route 2 Crash
Great Barrington Crashes Leave Two Dead
North Adams Man Crashes SUV Into Home
Man Killed by Bull in Clarksburg
Clarksburg Selectman Responds
Clarksburg Talks Burglary
North Adams Man Arraigned on Child Porn Charges
Fatal Accident Closes Route 8 in Adams
Kincaid Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Rape
Drug Ring King Sentenced to Cedar Junction
Recent Entries:
Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 20 - Feb. 22
Adams Businessman Arraigned in Pedestrian Death
Pittsfield Police Seeking Information on Gas Station Robbery
Adams Pedestrian Killed in Hit-and-Run
Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 9 - Feb. 14
Pittsfield Man Arrested After Leaving Scene of Accident
Pittsfield Man Charged With Murder
Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 5
Superior Court Briefs: Jan. 29 - Jan 31.
Pittsfield Officer Cleared in Officer-Involved Shooting Death