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North Adams Firefighters Douse Brush Fire; Warn of Dry Conditions

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff

The fire was in a hilly area off River Street.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Firefighters wrangled a small brush fire on the hill between Parker Street and the Porches early Thursday evening.

Lt. Michael Goodson said firefighters closed off the blaze and knocked down the approximately 1,000 square feet of fire.

"We knocked the parameter down around it," Goodson said. "It was hard because of the thick brush and steep terrain but we got it knocked down pretty quick ... we had it under control in maybe less than 10 minutes."

The fire was called in shortly before 6 p.m. and smoke could be seen from Marshall Street. The area affected was a brushy hillside surrounded by narrow Parker that runs between Houghton and North streets, Veazie Street, the Porches Inn property and the steep bankings on the edge of Bracewell Park.

The cause of the fire was not yet known but the police are investigating, Goodson said.

Scanner reports indicated that some children were being questioned about the fire.

Goodson said the small blaze wasn't helped by the dry conditions and urged residents not to burn at this time.

"Right now it is super dry and the state is not allowing any burning because of the dry weather conditions," he said. "Hopefully, people will listen."

Firefighters expelled nearly 1,200 gallons of water from a firetruck parked at the staging area. A second truck was on scene to supply extra water. Firefighters also used indian pumps to extinguish the flames.  

North Adams Ambulance was on scene for support, however, there was no injuries or damage.

     

North Adams Police Arrest Two Local Men on Drug Charges

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — On Wednesday Feb. 24, detectives and officers of the North Adams Police Department conducted a probable cause motor vehicle stop on a white 2012 Honda Ridgeline bearing Massachusetts registration #154VW5.

The vehicle was stopped based on a several month investigation conducted by Detectives into the distribution of illegal narcotics in the North Adams area. The motor vehicle stop resulted in the seizure of heroin, crack cocaine, and prescription medication all pre-packaged for sale and distribution.

The operator, Matthew Schilling, and the passenger, Scott Kastner, were both arrested by the North Adams Police Department. Schilling was charged with Possession of a Class A substance (heroin) with intent to distribute, Possession of a Class B substance (crack cocaine) with intent to distribute, and Possession of a Class C substance (Diazepam and Lorazepam) with intent to distribute.

Kastner was charged with Possession of a Class B substance (cocaine).

     

North Adams Woman Injured in Collision With Box Truck

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

The RAV 4 was peeled open to extricate the driver. Photos provided by a reader.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A 19-year-old North Adams woman is expected to be taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield after her vehicle collided with a box truck Tuesday morning.
 
Police say Samantha Scutt, 19, of North Adams was southbound on Route 8 when she veered into oncoming traffic and collided with a 2010 Chevrolet box truck driven by Carl Gasco, 50, of Millbury. The crash occurred at about 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Route 8 and Old State Road. The box truck, owned by Linders Inc. of Worcester, also hit a utility pole and electrical wires were hanging "dangerously close" to the scene.
 
Scutt was trapped inside of her 2002 Toyota RAV 4 for an hour and a half before she could be extricated using the Jaws of Life and taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. A state trooper got into her vehicle to stay with her through the ordeal.
 
Police say she has serious injuries and is expected to be transferred to Baystate. Gasco was also taken to Berkshire Medical Center with broken legs and possible internal bleeding. 
 
Responders from Lanesborough, Pittsfield, Cheshire and Dalton fire department, and County Ambulance worked to extricate the two operators.
 
The crash led Route 8 to be closed for nearly six hours. Scutt will be cited for a marked lanes violation.
     

Stamford Accident Sends 2 to Hospital

Staff Reports

STAMFORD, Vt. — Two North Adams, Mass., residents were injured after their car slammed into a tree on Main Road on Sunday morning.

Joelle M. Peterson, 34, and her passenger, Zachariah Chaffy, 36, were northbound on Route 8/100 in a 1999 Subaru Legacy before noon when Peterson lost control of the vehicle.

"The vehicle hit an icy patch of snow that had accumulated on the roadway. The operator was unable to maintain control of the vehicle and left the roadway before striking a tree," according to the report by State Trooper Alex Saxby.

The weather was clear but Saxby reported blowing snow across the highway.

The Subaru veered across the southbound lane, hitting the tree on the lawn of 289 Main Road. The accident occurred on the slight curve just south of Billmont's Country Store.

Both of the car's occupants were wearing seat belts. Peterson suffered minor abrasions and Chaffy, a broken hip. Both were taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. The Subaru was considered totalled.

     

Tractor-Trailer Misses Hairpin Turn

Staff Reports
iBerkshires

CLARKSBURG, Mass. — A tractor-trailer truck nearly took a dangerous shortcut to the city on Wednesday afternoon after crashing over the guardrail at the Hairpin Turn.

The tractor-trailer truck, hauling an Expedited Transport trailer, failed to navigate the notoriously difficult turn as it was descending the steep Mohawk Trail at about 2 p.m.

It slid into and over the guardrail near the old overlook, its front tires dangling over the edge.

The driver was able to exit the cab and was uninjured, according to police.

Clarksburg Fire Department and North Adams Ambulance responded to the scene, and North Adams Police directed traffic around the scene. The very point of the Hairpin Turn, where the Golden Eagle Restaurant is located, is in Clarksburg.

Traffic was closed to one lane until Dean's Towing showed up to pull the tractor-trailer safely back onto the road.

     
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