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Adams Firefighters Quickly Douse Dryer Fire

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — The Fire Department quickly snuffed out a dryer fire before it extended into a Summit Avenue home Thursday afternoon.
 
Firefighters responded a little after 1 p.m. to a  single-family home at 13 Summit Ave. for a fire that was called in as a dryer fire and possible structure fire. 
 
Fire Chief John Pansecchi said department was out on another call when the Summit Avenue report came in. He said the assistant chief was first on the scene. 
 
"We showed up, there was smoke coming out of the back door and we thought it was in the structure," he said. "Manpower was an issue to start with. I was doing double duty as command and operating the truck and running supplies but we got inside quick and knocked the hell out of it."
 
Pansecchi said Cheshire and Clarksburg were alerted along with North Adams Fire Department. He said because they were able to control the fire so quickly they called off Clarksburg, which had been requested to cover the fire station. North Adams was on scene with its Engine 2 and Cheshire ended up covering the fire station. 
 
Adams Ambulance was also on scene.
 
Pansecchi said the washer and dryer were total losses. Both were both charred and on the front lawn. He said other than that, the homeowner is just looking at some smoke and water damage.
 
He said dryer fires always have the potential to become overwhelming fast.
 
"This was seconds away from being the whole structure," he said. "Everyone did a good job and we appreciate the mutual aid."
 
The trucks started packing up a little after 1:30 p.m.
 
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Trick-or-Treater Struck by Vehicle in Williamstown

Staff Reports
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A pedestrian struck by a vehicle on Cole Avenue during trick-or-treating hours showed no signs of visible injury, police reported Friday morning.
 
Chief Kyle Johnson said the person struck was transported by Northern Berkshire EMS to the satellite emergency facility at Berkshire Medical Center's North Adams campus as a precaution.
 
The driver involved was cited by police for a lights violation. The driver was operating with just the vehicle's daytime running lights illuminated after sunset, Johnson said. 
 
The chief said it is his understanding that the pedestrian involved was a trick-or-treater. He could not provide the age of the individual.
 
According to the police log referenced by Johnson on Friday morning, the pedestrian attempted to cross between parked cars.
 
"There's no reference to a crosswalk in the paperwork I've seen," he said.
 
Witnesses told iBerkshires.com that it was not raining at the time of the accident, and Johnson confirmed Friday morning that it did not appear weather was a factor in the incident.
 
A number of communities, including North Adams and Pittsfield, postponed trick-or-treating hours to Saturday because of the expectation of heavy rain and high winds, neither of which arrived until after midnight. There was, however, light and misty rains throughout the evening. 
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Authorities Make Arrest in Adams Structure Fire Incident

Staff Reports

Authorities detour traffic at the mall entrance in Lanesborough as they take the suspect into custody. 
The Adams Police Department has released more information on Tuesday's fire and suspect chase.
 
According to a statement released on Wednesday morning,"Based on the information provided to police from witnesses along with family and friends there was concern that the fire had been intentionally set, and that firearms had been stolen from the home."
 
The suspect in the incident then fled to Pittsfield where he was involved in a "domestic situation" that resulted in a lockdown of city schools and a countywide "be on the look out," or BOLO, for himself and the red Subaru he was driving. 
 
He was sighted by a Lenox Police officer about 3:15 p.m. but when the officer attempted to stop him, he fled with the officer in pursuit. The suspect was finally arrested in Lanesborough near the northern Berkshire Mall entrance "after a brief stand-off with police."
 
The incident is still under investigation by multiple agencies and he is currently being held pending arraignment in district court.
 
The release by the Adams Police Department states it "would like to thank its officers, and the other agencies involved in the investigation of this incident."

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The East Road home was in flames when firefighters arrived.

Original post on 4:31 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23: ADAMS, Mass. — Officials are investigating a structure fire on East Road on Tuesday afternoon that destroyed a single-family home. 

 
Authorities declined to provide more information but the scene was cordoned off as a crime scene and police were on the lookout for an individual who had reportedly fled the area in a red Subaru, according to scanner reports. 
 
"It is an open investigation and we have a long way to go," said Adams Police Detective Michael Wandrei.
 
The suspect was arrested at about 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday — about two hours after the fire was reported — after leading police on a chase that ended near the Berkshire Mall. 
 
Fire Chief John Pansecchi said the call came in at 1:21 p.m. and that there was significant smoke and fire when firefighters arrived at 151 East Road. 
 
"What we were advised that there was smoke coming from the house and someone was trying to get the dog out," he said. "When I arrived they had heavy smoke across the whole attic area of the house and fire venting out the roof."
 
Mutual aid was called into Cheshire and North Adams fire departments and Clarksburg Fire Department covered the station. Adams Ambulance Service and Northern Berkshire EMS also responded. 
 
"The guys got in there and we got it knocked it down," he said. "The guys did a great job."
 
Pansecchi said the owners were not in the house at the time of the fire and that when firefighters arrived, they found the dog tied outside and safe. 
 
The fire chief alluded to the fact the fire began when no one was home as the reason for an investigation. That was being done, he said, by state fire marshal's office, himself and Adams Police. 
 
According to an individual with knowledge of the afternoon's events, the suspect is related to the home's owners. The house is owned by Jerome Cross, according to town documents. 
 
Pittsfield Police posted on Facebook that they were looking for Courtney Cross, 34, last seen operating a red 2017 Subaru WRX at 2 p.m. on North Street and who was wanted by Adams Police. "Witness information is that Cross is in possession of firearms," states the post, adding that no one should approach him but instead call 911. It was not clear from listening to the scanner if Cross had any firearms.
 
The fire marshal's office was "extremely interested in the clothing" the suspect was wearing, one scanner post stated. Officers were told over the scanner to ensure that the clothing of the individual stopped and arrested that afternoon was properly cited as evidence.
 
Pansecchi was awaiting the arrival of investigators from the state fire marshal's office and expected to be on the scene for some time. The owners of the home had made arrangements to stay elsewhere, he said, and did not require aid from the Red Cross. 
 
The road was closed off for several hours.
 
This story will be updated as more information becomes available. ... 
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Two-Vehicle Crash on Mass Ave Injures Four

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A Tuesday morning two-car accident sent four to Berkshire Medical Center North's emergency satellite facility with only minor injuries.
 
Police responded to the accident around 9 a.m. near Church Hill on Massachusetts Avenue, near Blackinton Church. 
 
A gray Nissan Rogue eastbound toward the city center was sideswiped by a red Toyota Venza sedan traveling west, according to police.
 
This portion of the heavily traveled street is often narrowed by vehicles parked along the side of the road.
 
An officer conducting preliminary accident reconstruction said the Toyota appears to have left its lane of travel and that the Nissan, after being sideswiped by the Toyota, dug its driver's side tire into the edge of the road, turning the vehicle over.
 
It came to rest on Blackinton Manor's front lawn but people in the area were able to flip the car over before the police, ambulance, and fire trucks arrived.
 
The three passengers in the Nissan were transported to the emergency facility along with the single driver in the Toyota.
 
Police reported that none of the injuries appeared to be serious. The road in this section was briefly closed to traffic until the scene could be cleared. The vehicles were removed by Dean's Towing and Mohawk Auto. 
 
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North Adams Police Arrest Suspect in Armed Robberies

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police have arrested a suspect in two armed robberies that occurred overnight Saturday and Sunday.
 
The first robbery occurred about 9 p.m. on Saturday when Dave's Package Store at the corner of River and Canal streets set off a hold up alarm. 
 
Dispatch was able to verify upon calling the business that the clerk was held up by an individual who was brandishing a knife. The person fled the area before officers arrived. 
 
However, the suspect was able to be identified by officers from the security footage. Officers checked known locations of where the individual stays but could not locate the suspect.
 
Then Sunday morning at approximately 4:40 a.m., a second armed robbery occurred at Dunkin' Donuts by the same method. In that case, an individual made off with a sum of money from one of the registers after going behind the counter and brandishing a knife toward the clerk. Again, the suspect fled the area but the description given led officers to believe the two incidents were connected by the same individual.
 
An officer who had remained in the area of Dunkin' Donuts observed the suspect walking in the Union Street area just before 7 a.m. This was the same person who was identified at first robbery. The suspect began to flee from the officer immediately. A foot chase then ensued that led from Union Street to the River Street area.
 
The office caught up with the suspect on River Street but the individual resisted arrest. Backup officers arrived shortly after, at which time the suspect was taken into custody. The initiating officer and the suspect were both injured during the arrest.
 
The officer and suspect were both treated and released at Berkshire Medical Center's North Adams campus. The suspect will remain in custody at the North Adams Police Department on $7,540 cash bail until being brought to Northern Berkshire District Court on Monday morning.
 
The name of the individual is being withheld at this point to prevent "public shaming," according to the post by Police Chief Jason Wood.
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