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Retired Pittsfield Firefighter Saves Two Dogs From Burning Home

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When retired firefighter Matthew Kudlate returned to his New Hampshire Avenue home Monday afternoon, he noticed black smoke billowing from his neighbor's house. That's when his instincts kicked in.
 
"I was just out for a drive, I pulled up to the house and there was heavy black smoke pouring out of the eaves. I called the Fire Department. I went into the back door, I know the neighbors and wanted to make sure they were out of there. I knew they had two dogs and I was able to get them out of the back door," Kudlate said.
 
Kudlate knew one of his neighbors was disabled and could struggle to get out in the case of a fire. He did a quick search and found nobody inside. 
 
He then chased after a poodle, which was running around the house, and a golden retriever, which didn't want to move. He pulled each out of them from the home.
 
"They fought me every step of the way. One was a bit larger, the other was fast and running around," Kudlate said. "They were scared, of course, and were nipping at me on the way out."
 
As he pulled the last one out, the Fire Department arrived at the scene.
 
"They got in quick, pulled a line, and saved a good portion of the home," said Fire Captain Neil Myers. "It was a pretty textbook save."
 
Firefighters confined the fire to the second floor of the home of the family with two children. It isn't known what caused the blaze yet, but the department was able to limit the damage. 
 
Myers said there is heavy smoke damage on the second floor, mostly confined to the front bedroom where it began. There is also some heat and smoke damage to rooms in the back portion of the second floor. The first floor sustained water damage. Myers credited the firefighters on scene for knocking the fire down quickly, limiting the amount of damage. 
 
Nobody was injured in the blaze, nor were there any animals harmed. Part of the reason for that is because of Kudlate.
 
"It was an instinct. I was a Pittsfield firefighter for 10 years. I had to retire because of an injury. It was just instinctual to make sure everybody was out of the house," Kudlate said. 
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Identity of Body Found Saturday in Pittsfield Released

Staff Reports
Police vehicles blocked a waste container on 771 Tyler and evidence was being collected on Saturday.

Updated with new information at 7:12 p.m.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The body of a 22-year-old Pittsfield man was discovered in a trash roll-off behind a Tyler Street business late Saturday afternoon, according to the Berkshire district attorney's office. 

 
Investigators believe that Louis E. Ely, of Briggs Avenue, climbed into the climbed into the container. Foul play is not suspected in his death. 
 
The discovery a body had been rumored and there was a heavy police presence at a parking lot at 771 Tyler St. on Saturday. Police, at the time, declined to confirm or deny the discovery.
 
Police crime scene tape was stretched in front of the waste container at the end of a parking lot adjacent 771 Tyler on late Saturday afternoon. Several Pittsfield Police vehicles were at the scene and one investigator in a white coverall was collecting evidence. 
 
An autopsy was conducted today by Associate Medical Examiner Dr. Robert Welton at the Holyoke Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The determination of the cause and manner of death are pending further toxicological and other testing.  
 
The investigation is being conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department. 
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Superior Court Briefs: March 20 - March 28

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, March 20.
 
Riley Nolan, 23, of Clarksburg pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws, possession of cocaine, and possession of diazepam.
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent one-year sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the possession of heroin and conspiracy charges. He was placed on one-year probation on the others.
 
The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on October 5, 2016.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, March 21.
 
Eric Hunt, 51, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and resisting arrest.
 
He was given concurrent two-year sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction but serving 10 days of it with the rest being suspended. He was placed on probation for two years.
 
The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on December 7, 2015. A single count of failure to wear a seatbelt was dismissed by the state.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, March 23.
 
Samuel Rivera, 21, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and illegal possession of a firearm.
 
He was ordered to serve two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the firearm charge. He was given a one-year sentenced on the possession of cocaine charge. 
 
The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on January 2, 2016. Single counts of illegal possession of a loaded firearm and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony were dismissed by the state.
 
Amber Bassett, 22, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
She was placed on one-year probation. 
 
The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at her Fenn Street home on January 5, 2016. Single counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, illegal ownership of a firearm, improper storage of a firearm and possession of a stun gun were dismissed by the state.
 
Mark Daniels, 35, of North Adams pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute related to the execution of a search warrant on Dalton Avenue in Pittsfield on September 23, 2015. He pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in connection with a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on September 28, 2015. 
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent two and a half to three and a half years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. He starts his sentence on April 4, 2017. 
 
A single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws was dismissed by the state.
 
Mark Linder Jr., 23, of North Adams pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws, and possession of cocaine.
 
He was ordered to serve one year at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on October 5, 2016. 
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Friday, March 24.
 
Ryan Sullivan, 28, of Hinsdale pleaded guilty to six counts of larceny from a building, five counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, two counts of larceny over $250, and a single count of wanton destruction of property. 
 
He was ordered to serve two and a half to three years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the wanton destruction of property charge. He was given probation for three years on the other charges. He begins serving the sentenced on March 29, 2017.
 
The charges stem from a series of breaks at a home in Washington between March 8, 2015, and August 9, 2015.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, March 27.
 
Jose Alexis Carrasquillo, 42, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws, two counts of armed career felon, and single counts of trafficking in cocaine, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a large capacity feeding device, illegal ownership of a firearm, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, receiving stolen property over $250, and possession of buprenorphine. Those charges are in connection with the execution of a search warrant on his home on January 6, 2017.
 
He also pleaded guilty to single count of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, and assault and better in connection with an incident involving a 46-year-old Pittsfield man between December 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail.
 
Charles Davis, 35, of Lanesborough had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. The charges stem from an incident involving a 46-year-old Pittsfield man between December 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016.
 
Louis Hoffman, 27, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of home invasion, armed assault in a dwelling, and illegal possession of a firearm in relation to an incident on Appleton Avenue on January 20, 2017.
 
He also pleaded not guilty to single counts of armed robbery while masked, armed assault with intent to rob, assault by means of a dangerous weapon, and illegal possession of a firearm in connection with a robbery at the Gulf Station on Wahconah Street on February 8, 2017.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 bail. 
 
Varian Lefebvre, 23, of Holyoke had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $2,500 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant in Williamstown on January 18, 2017.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, March 28.
 
James Tarjick Jr., 45, of Becket was sentenced to 11 to 12 years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Cedar Junction on charges of unarmed burglary, breaking and entering in the nighttime, and breaking and entering a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to four and a half to five years on other charges.
 
Tarjick had pleaded guilty to two counts of receiving stolen property over $250, four counts of unarmed burglary, two counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle, two counts of breaking and entering the nighttime, nine counts of larceny over $250, three counts of receiving stolen property, three counts of larceny of a firearm, and single counts of unarmed burglary, and larceny over $250. The charges stem from a series of house and motor vehicle breaks in Berkshire County between October 29, 2010, and September 21, 2013.
 
Anthony Newton, 28, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in connection with the execution of a search warrant on Dalton Avenue on September 23, 2015.
 
He was placed on two-years probation. A single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws was dismissed by the state.
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Pownal Man Dies After Car Crash in Williamstown

Staff Reports
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A Pownal, Vt. man died Tuesday after his vehicle careened into a tree on Bridges Road.
 
Police said James Smith, 69, of Mason Hill Road in Pownal, Vt. was driving a 1995 Lexus sedan westbound when he drifted across the eastbound lane and then crashed into a tree. He was the sole occupant of the vehicle and no other vehicles were involved.
 
Smith was taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, where he later died. The investigation is ongoing but Police say there is no evidence to suggest that speed, negligence, or impaired driver contributed to the crash. 
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Pittsfield Police Testing Gunfire Detection System Wednesday Night

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Police Department will be testing out the new ShotSpotter technology Wednesday night.
 
The department sent out a notification and calls to residents to inform them about the live gunfire test. The city is contracting with ShotSpotter to install gunshot detection systems, which will send notifications to police cruisers the moment the microphones pick up the sound of gunfire. 
 
"ShotSpotter uses a wide-area network of acoustic sensors to detect when a gun is fired and then precisely and quickly pinpoints the location of the gunfire. In less than a minute, officers and 911 dispatchers are notified of the fully qualified and validated gunfire incidents, even if no one calls 911 - although the community is always encouraged to report sounds of gunfire," Lt. Gary Traversa wrote in a release issued Wednesday afternoon.
 
"By quickly notifying police with the precise information, ShotSpotter helps speed police response, has the potential to save lives, increase weapons-related arrests, and the technology enhances the safety of our neighborhoods."
 
Before it can be deployed, the city needs to test it out. At 7 p.m. Wednesday night the department will be firing off shots at test locations to help calibrate the system.
 
"The Pittsfield Police Department will be conducting a live-fire gunshot event to test the ShotSpotter solution as they conduct a detection qualification and validation analysis before the system is live and operating in Pittsfield. The purpose of the DVQ is to test the sensor calibrations, quality of detection, and identify any additional calibration of the sensors needed. The ShotSpotter system is not considered live and operational until the successful completion of the DVQ event," Traversa wrote.
 
The will be no danger to the public, police said, because during the tests there will be officers on site at all locations, a bullet trap will be used to ensure public safety, and no bullets will be fired into the air. 
 
"The controlled tests will consist of a sequence of gunshot sounds followed by validation of quality detection by ShotSpotter. During the tests, a bullet trap will be used to ensure public safety. No bullets will be fired into the air and there is no danger to the public," Traversa wrote.
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Page 7 of 223... 2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12 ... 223  
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Fourteen Williams Seniors Win Fellowships for Post-Grad Study at Cambridge
Lee Bank Announces Multiple Staff Promotions, New Hire
Miss Hall's Students Named Pickett Scholars
Berkshires Jazz Announces Student Art Contest Winners

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