Home About Archives RSS Feed

North Adams Apartment Fire Forces Families Out

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff
A fire in a back unit of a Loftus Street apartment building forces five families from their homes.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Five families were forced from their homes on Sunday afternoon after the rearmost unit in a River Street apartment building caught fire.

Crystal Fitzpatrick, who had lived in the back unit with her three daughters since March, said she was at the market when her teenage daughter, Karizme, called to tell her their home was on fire.

"I had to ask someone for a ride," she said. "I got there and it was full of smoke. I dropped everything and started throwing water at the wall."

Fitzpatrick and Karizme were able to get out of the apartment with their rabbit. The two younger girls, Serenity and Destiny, were at a friend's house. Two hamsters on the first floor were rescued unharmed but much of their belongings were likely lost, including a cache of Christmas presents, according to the girl's grandmother, Eddine Fitzpatrick.

Fire Director Stephen Meranti said firefighters responded to the smoke alarm activation, which came in at about 3:13 p.m., and were informed en route that there was confirmed smokes and flames coming from the building at the corner of Loftus and River streets. All off-duty firefighters were called in.

Firefighters found a blaze on the first floor had moved up the wall into the attic area in the back unit of the two-story structure. The older balloon construction with no fire stops and little insulation helped the fire spread through the back exterior wall.

"It was a quick response and an aggressive attack," Meranti said, that contained the blaze before it could spread to adjoining apartments and close by buildings. "These guys did a great job."

Firefighters brought in hoses through the first floor and used the ladder truck to ventilate the ceiling, leaving a large hole in the roof. The adjacent apartment was also entered but was determined to be safe.

The unit received extensive water and smoke damage, although firefighters did what they could to cover the items in side.

River Street was closed between Veazie and Brown streets for several hours; North Adams Ambulance Service, the Wire & Alarm Division and health inspector were also on scene. A fire watch is in place at the building.

Crystal Fitzpatrick believed the fire may have been electrical because it was in the wall; she said she had been having problems with some of the outlets. Meranti said the cause had not yet been determined and that it was under investigation. The building is owned by Michael Deep, who also was at the scene.

Tenants gathered outside the building in the chilly temperatures, several without overcoats or proper footwear because of how quickly they had fled the building. Karizme Fitzpatrick was wrapped up on the ground in a sleeping bag with her bunny, Foo-foo, to keep warm.

"The whole thing was smoking," said Eddine Fitzpatrick, as she comforted Karizme and her mother. "She's afraid everything's gone."

Fitzpatrick said she had had the two bedrooms for the girls redone and expected that all their clothing, if not burnt, was now severely damaged. The Christmas presents stashed in the attic by the chimney were likely gone, too, she said.

Power was cut to all the apartments and tenants were expected to be helped tonight by the Red Cross. Mingling around in the chill wind, they hugged each other in commiseration and wondered what was next.

"Why do these things happen to us when we're working so hard to get ahead?" wondered one woman.

Write a comment - 7 Comments            

Two Students Arrested at Different Schools with Loaded Weapons

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A high school student and a college student were found with loaded weapons this week after each created a disturbance at their respective campuses.

On Tuesday night, a Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts student was arrested at the North Adams campus after becoming belligerent during an evening class. Chris LaFrance, 25, was allegedly intoxicated when campus police pepper sprayed him; upon arresting him, police said they found a loaded handgun on his person. While reportedly licensed to carry a firearm, LaFrance is facing a number of charges related to the incident and the public school where he had been training was apprised of his arrest and terminated his participation.

Pittsfield school officials say a Taconic High School student was arrested Thursday morning for creating a disturbance and a loaded gun was found on his person.

At no point was the weapon made visible to any student or staff member at Taconic, according to officials.

The Taconic administration said it is working with the Pittsfield Police Department to further investigate the matter.  

"Principal Vosburgh and his staff followed Pittsfield Public School safety protocol to the letter. School administration and Pittsfield Police effectively took all appropriate measures to efficiently address the situation and safeguard the school community," said Mayor Daniel Bianchi in a statement. "I am confident in Dr. McCandless' leadership and the professionalism of school staff as we continue to collaborate with community partners."

McCandless, Pittsfield Public Schools superintendent, said safety protocols are in place at all schools and are practiced regularly. The school community and parents will be kept informed, he said.

"The safety and concern of our students is the highest priority. All schools in the district have safety response protocols and procedures in place. Families are encouraged to partner with the school administration regarding any information that could be of assistance to help continue to maintain a safe and secure environment," according to a press release from City Hall.

Write a comment - 2 Comments            

Delratez Sentenced to Life After Guilty Plea in North Adams Murder

Staff Reports
David Delratez at his arraignment last year after being apprehended in Bennington, Vt. Delratez was sentenced to life imprisonment on Tuesday.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — David A. Delratez has been sentenced to life imprisonment after pleading guilty to last year's murder of 84-year-old Ellen DePaoli in North Adams. 
 
Delratez, of North Adams, pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon to murder in the second degree and to several other charges. 
 
He was apprehended only days after the discovery of DePaoli's body in her Walker Street home on the evening of Sept. 17, 2013. 
 
Delratez, 42, who had known DePaoli for years, had initially claimed he had gone to visit her when one or more men had forced their way into her home, struck and killed her, and made him drive them away.
 
DePaoli was well-liked in the community and had been the cafeteria manager at Drury High School for many years. 
 
Delratez was found in possession of her stolen car in Bennington, Vt., and arrested on outstanding warrants by Bennington Police. He had pleaded not guilty in his initial appearances in court.  
 
On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to single counts of murder in the second degree and larceny of a motor vehicle in connection with DePaoli's murder. He also pleaded guilty to single counts of breaking and entering with intent to commit a misdemeanor and malicious destruction of property less than $250, related to an incident in Clarksburg on Sept. 13, 2013.
 
Judge John J. Agostini ordered that Delratez serve a life sentence at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the murder charge. 
 
He was given a concurrent three to four-year state prison sentence on the larceny charge and concurrent House of Correction sentences on the other charges. 
 
However, he is eligible for parole after serving 15 years, according to the district attorney's office. 
 
The investigation was conducted by the North Adams Police Department, state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office, officers from the Pittsfield Police Department and deputies from the Berkshire County sheriff's department, and members of the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force. 
Write a comment - 0 Comments            

Williamstown Investigating Rash of Business Break-ins

Staff Reports

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Police Department is investigating a series of break-ins at businesses on Water Street and Main Street that occurred late Friday or early Saturday morning.

Town Manager Peter Fohlin was asked about the crime spree at Monday's meeting of the Board of Selectmen.

"I didn't mention it [in the Town Manager's Report] because I don't usually comment on cases under investigation," Fohlin said in response to a question from Selectman Hugh Daley. "But what you said is true. Chief [Kyle] Johnson tells me they have a person of interest."

According to reports received by iBerkshires.com, businesses affected by the break-ins include U:A Fine Hair Studio, the American Legion, Redstone Properties and Hot Tomatoes on Water Street and Olympic Pizza on Main Street.

The perpetrators apparently broke windows or jimmied doors to get into several buildings. One of the building owners believed the target had been cash since electronics and other items had reportedly been left behind.

Write a comment - 1 Comments            

Superior Court Briefs: Oct. 14 - Oct. 24

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, October 14.
 
Charles Katz, 49, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to two counts of drug violation in a school zone and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, distribution of heroin, conspiracy to violate drug laws and possession of lorazepam.
 
He was released on $10,000 cash or $100,000 surety bail pending sentencing on Nov. 25. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on Appleton Avenue in Pittsfield on February 27, 2014.
 
Kelly O'Laughlin, 35, of Cheshire had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on two counts of receiving stolen property over $250, and single counts of breaking and entering a building in the daytime, and larceny in a building.
 
She was released on personal recognizance. O'Laughlin allegedly took $80,000 from a Dalton home on September 4, 2013.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, October 16.
 
Marcel Teixeira-Ingram, 19, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of armed robbery.
 
He was released on $1,000 cash or $10,000 surety bail. The charges stem from an incident in Pittsfield on August 20, 2014 and involved an 18-year-old man.
 
Jason Gendron, 35, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to six counts of rape and abuse of a child aggravated by an age difference, and four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14.
 
He was ordered to be held on $100,000 cash or $1 million surety bail pending sentencing on October 28.
 
The incidents occurred in Pittsfield between August 25, 2011 and March 1, 2013. The three victims are girls now aged 6,8 and 15.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, October 20.
 
Heather Shurtleff, 37, of Adams had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of reckless endangerment of a child and intimidation of a witness.
 
She was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from an incident in Adams and involved a 14-year-old girl. The incident allegedly occurred between February 6, 2011 and May 20, 2014.
 
Daniel Chao, 38, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of fraudulent use of a medical marijuana registration card, cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of tetrahydrocannabinols with intent to distribute.
 
He was released on $2,500 bail. Chao allegedly fraudulently used a medical marijuana registration card to cultivate and possess marijuana and has oil with intent to distribute. The incident allegedly occurred in North Adams on October 9, 2013.
 
Jerry Campagna, 61, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on four counts of uttering a false prescription, three counts of possession oxycodone and a single count of possession of morphine.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. Campagna allegedly used false prescriptions to procure the drugs between December 13, 2013 and January 23, 2014 in Lenox.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, October 21.
 
Nakiba Browne, 30, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of manufacturing heroin - his second offense.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $15,000 cash or $150,000 surety bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his home on September 19, 2014.
 
James Dominguez III, of Springfield, had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws, and single counts of trafficking in cocaine and possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $50,000 cash or $500,000 surety bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on Columbus Avenue in Pittsfield on September 25, 2014.
 
Robert Ester, 26, of Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws and single counts of trafficking in cocaine and possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $50,000 cash or $500,000 surety bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on Columbus Avenue in Pittsfield on September 25, 2014.
 
Richard Holliman, 40, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws and single counts of trafficking in cocaine and possession of morphine with intent to distribute - his second offense.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $100,000 cash or $1 million surety bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his home on October 1, 2014.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, October 22.
 
Amena Smith, 36, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws and single counts of trafficking in cocaine and possession of morphine with intent to distribute - her second offense.
 
She was ordered to be held at the Hampden County House of Correction on $10,000 cash or $100,000 surety bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at her home on October 1, 2014.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Friday, October 24.
 
Anthony Johnson, 31, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on five counts of distribution of cocaine and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $100,000 cash or surety bail. The incidents allegedly occurred in Pittsfield between June 29, 2011 and January 30, 2012.
Write a comment - 0 Comments            
Page 58 of 198... 53  54  55  56  57  58  59  60  61  62  63 ... 198  
News Headlines
Clark Art Institute to Host Oct. 1 5K
Centennial Hikes Across Massachusetts Celebrate 100th Anniversary of National Park Service
North Adams Happenings: Aug. 24-30
BFAIR Successfully Completes QUEST Audit
Lanesborough School Officials Look To Shorten Bus Ride Times
DownStreet Art: Aug. 25
Post-Tanglewood, Area Chamber Concerts Blossom
Investors Can Learn Much from Workers
State Senate Candidates Focus On Economics In 5th Debate
Weeds in Cheshire Reservoir Cause Fire Hazard

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 (51)
Alford (0)
Becket (6)
Cheshire (13)
Clarksburg (30)
Dalton (5)
Egremont (0)
Florida (5)
Great Barrington (16)
Hancock (5)
Hinsdale (3)
Lanesborough (22)
Lee (11)
Lenox (10)
Monterey (0)
Mount Washington (0)
New Ashford (5)
New Marlborough (1)
North Adams (178)
Otis (2)
Peru (2)
Pittsfield (187)
Pownal (11)
Readsboro (12)
Richmond (8)
Sandisfield (2)
Savoy (5)
Sheffield (2)
Stamford (28)
State (1)
Stockbridge (5)
Tyringham (1)
Washington (1)
West Stockbridge (1)
Williamstown (63)
Windsor (3)
Archives:
August 2016 (14)
July 2016 (13)
June 2016 (12)
May 2016 (14)
April 2016 (15)
March 2016 (15)
February 2016 (17)
Tags:
Mvi Larceny Break-ins Search Crime Watch Armed Robbery Assault Shooting Crash Motor Vehicle Drug Charges Injuries Cocaine Fatal Missing Persons Structure Fire Murder Fire Vehicle Stabbing Veremko Robbery Fraud Homicide Accident Police Investigation Buglaries Heroin Arrest Drugs Rape Mva Pedestrians Police Motor Vehicle Accident
Popular Entries:
Great Barrington Crashes Leave Two Dead
North Adams Woman Killed in Route 2 Crash
North Adams Man Crashes SUV Into Home
Man Killed by Bull in Clarksburg
North Adams Man Arraigned on Child Porn Charges
Kincaid Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Rape
Cariddi Auto Sales Burns
Fatal Accident Closes Route 8 in Adams
Donations Reach State Road Fire Victims
Pittsfield Police Identify Parking Garage Death
Recent Entries:
Driver Suffers 'Traumatic' Injuries in Pittsfield Crash With Tractor Trailer
North Adams Police Seeking Information on Break-Ins
Superior Court Briefs: Aug. 18.
Adams Man Pleads Not Guilty to Attempted Quadlands Robbery
Williamstown Man Sentenced in Child Sex Abuse Case
Rescuers Recover Hiker's Body in Monument Mountain Reservation
Superior Court Briefs: Aug. 9
Great Barrington Fire Department Rescues Hiker from Monument Reservation
Pittsfield Police Investigating Stabbing At Burbank Park
Superior Court Briefs: Aug. 1 - Aug. 3