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Adams Firefighters Douse Flaming Hot Tub

Staff Reports

The fire was contained quickly but firefighters stayed at the scene for more than an hour.
ADAMS, Mass. — A relaxing hot tub soak could have turned into a tragedy on Wednesday night when the unit's motor malfunctioned. 
 
Firefighters responded to what was reported as an electrical problem with a hot tub about 9:24 p.m. The quick response of a relative of the homeowner, who also happens to be an assistant fire chief, is credited with keeping it under control.
 
"He got here quick. By the time he got here, he had fire showing in the cellar around the hot tub, around all the wood that contained the hot tub," said Fire Chief Paul Goyette. 
 
The owners had seen smoke but at first thought it was steam coming off the water, he said. When they realized it was a fire, they immediately put in the call. 
 
It took about four fire extinguishers and 50 gallons of water to completely douse the blaze. There was some difficulty in venting the smoke, which continued to spill from the single family home for about an hour. 
 
"It was a good knockdown," Goyette said. 
 
Despite the small size of the blaze, a full contingent was one scene, including equipment and personnel from the Forest Wardens, Cheshire and Savoy. Narrow Walling Road lies outside the Fire District and Goyette said he wanted the right equipment on hand. 
 
"There's no hydrants, so that's why I called for tanker and I would have called for more if it was worse," he said. 
 
Adams Police and Adams Ambulance Service also responded. There was minimal water damage to the house.
 
"The hot tub is totaled, it will never be used again," Goyette said, adding jokingly, "nor would they want to put another one in there."
     

Suspect in New York Shooting Arrested in Adams

ADAMS, Mass. — A suspect in a New York shooting was arrested Thursday in a Howland Avenue apartment.

According to media reports, U.S. Marshals from Springfield and New York arrested Jovan Bailey, 29, with the help of Adams Police and state police.

Bailey is charged with criminal possession of a weapon and second degree assault and is expected to appear in Berkshire Superior Court. He is wanted in the shooting of a Long Island, N.Y., man in January and will be returned to Suffolk County, N.Y., to answer charges.

According to Dave Milne from the U.S. Marshals Service in Springfield, the New York and New Jersey fugitive task force were searching for 29-year-old Jovan Bailey, who was accused of shooting an unidentified man in Long Island, New York back in January of 2017.

U.S. Marshals in New York were apparently tipped off that Baily was in Adams, where he was staying with two other people. According to news reports, Bailey was asleep when Marshals entered the apartment and thought he was being arrested for unpaid traffic tickets.

     

Adams Apartment House Destroyed in Blaze

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff

ADAMS, Mass. — At least a half-dozen people have lost everything after a fire ravaged a three-apartment home on Old Columbia Street early Saturday morning.

Fire Chief Paul Goyette said some 45 firefighters from four towns battled the blaze for nearly five hours before it was finally extinguished.

"We probably flowed about 150,000 gallons of water," he said later Saturday morning as a backhoe tore down the blackened two-story structure. No was injured, but the tenants lost everything, Goyette said.

The fire was a reported at about 2:07 a.m. as a smell smoke of smoke in a bathroom. When Adams Police arrived at the scene, the flames were already coming from the windows on the first and second stories on the south side of the building. The wood-frame structure is tucked in slightly behind another home and a small outbuilding off Old Columbia, and near the end of Stevens Street, off Newark.

"The fire had a good hold of the building at that time," Goyette said. "We tried an interior tack, had a little bit of knockdown of the fire then it just became untenable.  We pulled out and went all defensive."

North Adams, Cheshire and Clarksburg firefighters aided Adams; North Adams Ambulance Service provided its rehab trailer and Adams Police and Adams Ambulance Service also responded.

The state fire marshal's office had a representative at the scene earlier in the morning. Goyette said he was listing it as non-suspicious, but undetermined as to cause because of the amount of damage.

The American Red Cross had also responded to provide the six or seven occupants with aid. All of them had been out of the building by the time firefighters arrived, Goyette said.

Unfortunately, it appears several pets were killed in the fire.

The building contained 335, 337 and 339 Old Columbia St. addresses. The structure was lathe and plaster, probably balloon structure, and built about 1879. Town documents list the owner as Joseph Garceau.

"After the fire was out, it was deemed by the building inspector that the building was too unsafe and it had to come down," said Goyette.

Please contact info@iberkshires.com if any fundraising is being done on behalf of the tenants so we can help spread the word.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Larry and Pam Lillie Davis here.

A GoFundMe for the Lescarbeau family is here.

     

No Serious Injuries in Hoosac Valley Bus, Tractor-Trailer Accident

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — No major injuries were reported after emergency services responded to an accident involving a school bus and a tractor-trailer truck on Route 116 on Wednesday morning 
 
"Essentially it was what it was but it could have been a lot worse," Police Chief Richard Tarsa said. "It had the potential to be much worse than it was."
 
Tarsa said a little after 7 a.m. a tractor-trailer truck, traveling north on Orchard Street toward Adams, lost control of the trailer section of the vehicle.
 
He said because of icy road conditions, the trailer jackknifed across the road.  The trailer was empty so it had less traction than it would have had if it was full. The left rear of the trailer hit the left front fender of a school bus that was heading to Hoosac Valley High School.
 
"The lack of weight in the back of it made it very light and when on the icy road, it caused it to kick out sideways," Tarsa said. "As it did, the bus driver saw it and tried to make an evasive move by pulling and extreme right going up onto the sidewalk."
 
Emergency services, Hoosac Valley administration, a school adjustment counselor, representatives from Dufour Bus and members of the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District Safety Team, were on the scene soon after the accident.
 
Tarsa said the bus was carrying 31 people, including the driver. One person complaining of pain was transported to the North Adams Campus of Berkshire Medical Center.
 
All students were checked for injuries and were transported to school on a second bus, according to interim Superintendent Robert Putnam. All parents were informed by the school and some students went home and school emergency personnel were available for students throughout the day.
 
He added that there was also a robocall informing all Hoosac Valley parents. 
 
Tarsa said the bus had to be towed away but the tractor trailer truck was operable.
 
Emergency personnel was also on staff at C.T. Plunkett Elementary to deal with possible shock. Some Plunkett students waiting for the bus Wednesday morning near the accident saw the damage.
 
Tarsa said the safety team was created to deal these kinds of incidents and is comprised of members from the Adams and Cheshire police and fire departments, Adams Ambulance Service, state troopers, Dufour Bus, and school administration who meet regularly to anticipate and train for emergency situations and to conduct student drills.
 
"It went very well and everything went to plan," he said. "We train for this through event training, crisis management, and school drills. Everything went accordingly and fell into place." 
 
He said after the safety team met to review their response to see what lessons could be learned for future responses.
     

Adams McDonald's Closed Tuesday Night by Roof Fire

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff

Firefighters cut into the roof to check if the fire has spread.

ADAMS, Mass. — A quick response prevented a roof fire at McDonald's from spreading.

A couple dozen volunteer firefighters from Adams and Cheshire responded to the report of a structure fire at the burger franchise at about 4:35 p.m. on a bitterly cold Tuesday.

"As I pulled up around the corner, I could see flames showing from the roof area ... underneath the McDonald's sign," said Fire Chief Paul Goyette.

While the cause is still uncertain, Goyette said, "we're leaning on the side of electrical."

Someone driving by reportedly called the McDonald's and told an employee that the building was on fire. The manager called 911 and accessed the roof with a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze. The manager was also able to isolate and shut off the electricity to the interior-lighted sign located across the roof of the building.

Firefighters were able to maneuver the ladder truck into position and went up on the roof to get the blaze, which appears to have been located under the "d's" on the sign and under one of the metal light covers that go up and over the parapet that angles up sharply from the roof line.

"The shingles were burned all the way down [under the cover]," Goyette said. "The heat source was the lighting unit but it was already burning on the roof structure."

Firefighters opened a small section of the roof with a chainsaw to ensure there was no extension of the fire underneath. The fire chief said that was a serious concern because the hollow parapet structure above the roof line would have allowed the fire to spread.

"We wanted to make sure there was no fire in the void," he said, adding that "once there's a fire, it just takes off so fast. It gets into that parapet void and it just takes off."

Goyette said he's seen reports of similarly styled restaurant structures that have been total losses after a fire has gotten into the hollow areas.

"This was an excellent save," he said. "The operation went very well."

The scene was cleared in about an hour. Cheshire Fire was called in for rapid response; local police took care of traffic, although no streets were closed, and Adams Ambulance was on standby at the scene.

The restaurant had been immediately evacuated and employees were sent home. The restaurant was closed for the evening but Goyette thought it possible it could open in the morning. The Board of Health inspector had already been on the scene and the building inspector had been alerted.

The company had an electrician coming to deal with the sign.

     
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