Home About Archives RSS Feed

Pittsfield Firefighters Snuff Duplex Blaze

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

Firefighters quickly snuffed out the fire in the outside of the building.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters snuffed out a two-alarm fire on Thursday afternoon as temperature hovered in the low teens.

The blaze began at about 3:15 p.m. in the basement of 38-40 McArthur St., off Onota Street, when the owner of the duplex attempted to fix water pipes using a blowtorch, according to Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski.

The wall caught fire and traveled up to the back of the exterior of the building on the 38 side.

"On arrival, our crews found heavy fire and smoke at the back of the building," said Czerwinski. "It really stayed on the outside and not on the inside. ... The fire really progressed on the outside to to the eaves."  

The owner, who lives on the 40 side, and a woman, who lives on the 38 side, both fled the blaze. Czerwinski said he was not sure how many people lived in the duplex but only those two were home.

Czerwinski added that the smoke damage would likely displace one of the families for a time, while the owner's side did not suffer damage. Two pets were also unharmed in the blaze.

No one was injured although a firefighter who took a took a tumble on the icy surface refused treatment.

"The guys make quick work of it," said Czerwinski.

All the equipment and about 18 firefighters responded, in part because of the frigid temperatures. Mayor Daniel Bianchi was also at the scene.


Motor Vehicle Flips on Springside in Pittsfield

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A car flipped over on Springside Avenue at the entrance to Rotary Playground at Springside Park at about 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

Reader Karla Neff submitted some pictures, taken from a distance, that show police, fire and ambulance personnel at the scene.

The road was blocked for a short time to remove the driver and vehicle. The scene was clean when our reporter arrived. No further information was immediately available.


Pittsfield Crash Victims Identified; Cause Under Investigation

Staff Reports
Police identified the two men who died in the crash at Pittsfield High School on Tuesday.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police say both men involved in the crash at Pittsfield High School on Tuesday afternoon have died.

Tariq Sally, 34, and Ernest Duck Jr., 37, have both died from injuries incurred in the crash.

Police say they are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash. All possible causes — including mechanical, medical or other — are being explored.

Numerous witnesses have given police information regarding erratic operation of the vehicle prior to the accident; anyone wishing to provide additional information are asked to contact Officer Marc Maddalena or Sgt. Mark Trapani.

The white 2013 white Nissan Altima with Connecticut plates soared through the intersection of Second Street and East Street, hit curbing in front of the high school and launched into the air — landing against a wall in the school's front yard.

Both men were rushed to Berkshire Medical Center and one was pronounced dead shortly after while the other was in a "life-threatening" condition.

They were identified as Pittsfield residents. Duck, according to his Facebook page, had attended Berkshire Community College and was engaged.


Car Crashes Into Pittsfield High School; One Killed

Staff Reports
A car crashed into Pittsfield High School on Tuesday afternoon after speeding across the intersection from Second Street.

Update on Jan. 15: Police report both occupants of the car have died. They have been identified as Tariq Sally, 34, and Ernest Duck Jr., 37.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with information from Sgt. Trapani and Superintendent McCandless at 5:51 p.m. and extraneous information removed.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A white car reportedly roared out of Second Street and across East Street just before 3 p.m., hitting the curb and slamming into the wall in front Pittsfield High School.

One occupant of the vehicle has died as a result of his injuries, according to police, who have not released any names.

Police Sgt. Mark Trapani said the accident occurred at about 2:49 p.m. He said he did not have any further information on the occupants other than that there were two men and both were from Pittsfield.

Police were aware of reports the car had been speeding along Second Street, blowing through red lights and stop signs, he said, but it was not known where they were coming from.

Witnesses reported seeing the car traveling at a high rate of speed down Second Street toward the school. Unconfirmed reports have put the speed at 80 to 100 mph.

Trapani said police had "only suspicions" about what caused the crash, adding there were "no other contributing factors besides the operation of this one car at this point." He did say, in response to a question, that any possible medical factors would be investigated.

Principal Matthew Bishop said he was in the school lobby with others when they heard the crash and saw smoke. Some students were on the steps of the school at the time of the accident, he said, but they were unharmed. The high school lets out at about 2:20 p.m.

 "From 2 to 2:20, this is lined with pedestrians, students and pickup cars — parents waiting to pick up students from school — so yes, this could have been much, much worse," said Trapani.

Brandon Price, head of the math department, was in his room on the second floor of the building, across the lawn from where the incident took place. It was hot in his classroom, so the windows were open as he was with a group of students partaking in after-school help. He and his students heard a loud noise and rushed to the window.

"I was in my room, which is just right across the way from the car," he said. "That's scary."

"I was sitting there with a bunch of kids. I have all the windows open. We hear a really loud, like a thud, so we all get towards the window. When we look out the window, literally, the car is elevated off the ground, the tires are in the air and there's debris everywhere."

"Literally, kids were crying as soon as it happened. It was the scariest sound you've ever heard."

"I told them to close the windows, because you could already, instantly smell gas," he said. "I told them to go to the library, then I went downstairs. Actually, I called 9-1-1 before I left."

Superintendent Jason McCandless said staff and faculty have been working with the students who were in the school for after-school programs, including a well-attended 21st Century School program.

"We got kids to a place where we knew it was safe after understanding initially what actually happened and worked with several counseling staff," he said. "We do believe there were students who were here and who did witness it through windows or from being on the sidewalk."

Counselors who had been home returned to the school to meet with teens and their parents have been notified that their children may have been witness to a traumatic event.

"We have counseling staff up on site now and we'll have counseling staff, extra counseling staff, for tomorrow for students and for faculty who may be traumatized by what happened here," he said, adding "It's just devastating the thought if the timing had been different, had it been a day when students were congregating."

The school has also canceled tonight's boys' basketball game at home against Lee.

Both sides of East Street were closed to traffic for about a half-hour between Appleton and Bartlett avenues; the westbound lanes were reopened just after 3:30 p.m. but the eastbound was reduced to one lane at the time of this report.

"Our preliminary investigation, according to witnesses, is they came off of Second St., came across [East St.] ... ," said Police Capt. David Granger at the scene, pointing to the tree near the sidewalk where the car hit before landing on the school lawn.

"There were students there, the school was open. It was after school. There were students out front here," he said. "We're in the process of talking to school administrators and the students that were in the school. Some of them were eyewitnesses."

Granger said the preliminary investigation indicated that only two men were in the car.

"No civilians got hurt. No other people got hurt out here on the scene, but there were, what appeared to be, two males in the car and they've been taken to Berkshire Medical Center."

The crash prompted a full-scale response, including at one point four firetrucks, two ambulances and at least eight police vehicles. Initial reports were that a vehicle had crashed into the school with multiple people trapped.

Reporting by Andy McKeever and Dan Gigliotti


Pittsfield Police Trying to Identify Man Connected To Robbery

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are asking for help in identifying a man in connection to a robbery of the Tyler Street Subway Restaurant.

Police say a masked man entered the store with a knife and demanded money and then fled on foot in an unknown direction on Jan. 3. 

That man is described as white, in his mid-30s to early 40s, approximately 200-250 pounds with medium to large build. He stands about 6 feet tall.

Police on Friday released photos and video of a man they believed is somehow connected to the robbery.

They are asking anyone who can help identify the man in these photos and video. The images were grabbed from an Angelina's restaurant and it is unclear why the two are related.

Anyone who recognizes this man is asked to contact detective Nicholas DeSantis at 413-448-9705.

Page 10 of 32... 5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15 ... 32  
News Headlines
Petition Voices Objection to Proposed Williams Art Museum Site
Northern Berkshire Santa Fund Kicks Off 2015 Campaign
North Adams Ready to Take Possession of Colegrove School
Pittsfield Bars Raising Security After Shooting Incidents
6th Annual Cop On Top Returns To Pittsfield Walmart This Weekend
Pittsfield Fires Police Union President For 'Misconduct'
Holiday Cards Support CATA Artists With Disabilities
Berkshire Tidbits: Time for Hanukkah, Christmas Foods
YMCA Hosts Free Youth Snowboarding Program
Ohio Baptists Erecting Monument in Cheshire to John Leland

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
Lee Barracks 413-243-0600
Shaftsbury, Vt., Barracks 802-442-3263


Adams (41)
Alford (0)
Becket (6)
Cheshire (10)
Clarksburg (29)
Dalton (5)
Egremont (0)
Florida (5)
Great Barrington (9)
Hancock (5)
Hinsdale (3)
Lanesborough (16)
Lee (11)
Lenox (9)
Monterey (0)
Mount Washington (0)
New Ashford (4)
New Marlborough (1)
North Adams (162)
Otis (2)
Peru (2)
Pittsfield (163)
Pownal (10)
Readsboro (11)
Richmond (8)
Sandisfield (2)
Savoy (5)
Sheffield (2)
Stamford (27)
State (1)
Stockbridge (4)
Tyringham (1)
Washington (1)
West Stockbridge (1)
Williamstown (56)
Windsor (2)
December 2015 (1)
November 2015 (9)
October 2015 (14)
September 2015 (13)
August 2015 (17)
July 2015 (15)
June 2015 (7)
May 2015 (13)
April 2015 (10)
March 2015 (1)
Dui Search Fraud Homicide Heroin Missing Persons Motor Vehicle Drugs Motor Vehicle Accident Stabbing Rape Buglaries Injuries Crash Mvi Cocaine Police Investigation Structure Fire Crime Watch Fire Shooting Larceny Veremko Arrest Robbery Murder Armed Robbery Accident Break-ins Fatal Police Drug Charges Assault Vehicle Assaults
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
Donations Reach State Road Fire Victims
Fatal Accident Closes Route 8 in Adams
Pittsfield Police Identify Parking Garage Death
Recent Entries:
Pittsfield Investigating Four Fires; One Individual Detained
Lanesborough Fire Extinguishes Second Blaze In Five Days
Lanesborough Fire Snuffs Out Cellar Fire On Thanksgiving Eve
Two-Car Accident at Clarksburg Intersection
Angelina's in Pittsfield Robbed At Knifepoint
Superior Court Briefs: Nov. 4 - Nov. 19
Adams Man Facing Charges in Stamford Crash
Man Injured in Williamstown Car, Scooter Accident
North Adams Police: Two Women Struck by Motor Vehicle
Pittsfield Man Shot During Altercation On Lincoln Street