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Two People Airlifted To Albany Medical Following Crash In Hancock

Staff Reports
UPDATE: State police have released the names of the people injured in Friday's crash.  The driver was 30-year-old James Daigneault of Lee and his passenger was 31-year-old Sara Rock of Stephentown, N.Y.
HANCOCK, Mass. — Two people were seriously injured after a crash on Route 20 Friday night.
State Police say a 30-year-old man from Lee and a 31-year-old woman from Stephentown, N.Y. were airlifted to Albany Medical Center for treatment for serious injuries following the 7 p.m. crash. Police are not releasing the names of the victims at this time.
Police say the man was lost control of the 2005 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck he was driving and crashed. Both occupants were trapped inside the vehicle. Fire departments from Hancock, Pittsfield, Richmond, Lebanon Valley, N.Y. and Chatham, N.Y. were on scene for nearly five hours extricating the occupants from the vehicle — the driver being pulled from the vehicle four hours after the crash and passenger 40 minutes later.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation, police said. No charges have been filed at this time.
New York State Police, Pittsfield Police and members from the Department of Transportation were on scene assisting.

Hancock Firefighters Stop Vacation Village Blaze

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

HANCOCK, Mass. — Firefighters snuffed out a blaze in a Vacation Village timeshare unit Sunday afternoon.

According to Fire Chief Dave Rash, firefighters responded to Vacation Village on Brodie Mountain Road at about 3:30 p.m. for reports of smoke. Rash said an overhead exhaust fan overheated and a fire spread into the attic area.

"It wasn't a very big fire but we had trouble finding it," Rash said on Monday.

There were no injuries and the fire was put out in about 20 minutes, Rash said. Housekeepers had noticed the smoke and management quickly evacuated the building prior to the department's arrival, he said.

"There were no problems other than it being a hot day and guys in full turnout gear," he said. "It was kind of tiring for the guys."

Stephentown, N.Y., firefighters also responded to the scene and Lanesborough was on call in Hancock's station. Two units suffered damage and those occupants affected had been moved to other units on the property.

Those staying in Unit 607 A, where the fire started, were not in the unit at the time, Rash said.

"The fire damage was all in the attic but there was smoke and water damage in the units underneath," he said.


Lanesborough Shed Explodes; Firefighters Prevent Forest Fire

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

A propane tank exploded inside the shed sparking the fire.

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A shed behind a Potter Mountain home exploded Friday afternoon and nearly spread to a full-blown brush fire.
According to the homeowner, who wished to remain anonymous, his wife heard a loud bang at about 3 p.m. and moments later flames in the back yard had engulfed the nearby trees. The shed was completely destroyed and fire burned about an acre of land. 
"The flames were over the trees," he said.
Upon arriving, firefighters immediately called in tanker trucks from Hancock and Richmond to contain the fire from spreading up the Potter Mountain hillside, according to Fire Chief Charlie Durfee.
The state Department of Conservation and Recreation was called because of the "Class 4" conditions, meaning there is a high-level risk for brush fires.
"We were preventing the fire from spreading to a full-blown brush fire," Durfee said. "It could have taken off and burned 200 acres up the mountain."
Firefighters used about 4,000 gallons of water to put out the flames in about 30 minutes. Employees of nearby Sayers Auto Wrecking helped remove brush near the fire.
"The cause of the explosion is likely from a 1-pound propane cylinder for a grill," Durfee said, explaining that sometimes the propane expands and blows up the cylinder. 
Durfee said that type of explosion doesn't happen often but he was "just thankful the propane was out in the shed and not in the garage."
Nobody was injured. The shed housed typical outdoor items like fences and toys. A boat next to the shed was also destroyed.
The homeowner said he does have insurance, which will cover the replacement cost. 
"I have to give credit to Lanesborough and Richmond. They did a fabulous job," he said. "They knocked it down really quickly."

Seven Fire Departments Fight Blaze At Hancock Restaurant

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
HANCOCK, Mass. — Fire caused heavy damage to Powder Hounds Restaurant on Wednesday afternoon and one firefighter was injured fighting it.

According to Fire Chief Dave Rash, the Fire Department received the call at about 2 p.m. and arrived to find "heavy smoke" and for the next two hours more than a half dozen fire departments worked to snuff it out.

"One Stephentown (N.Y.) firefighter has a high level of CO in his blood. He got some smoke but we're going to have him transported to BMC to get checked out," Rash said at the scene.

No other injuries were reported.

Rash said the fire stayed completely on the west end of the second floor — in space used as the restaurant's office.

"It's was an old facility that's been modified and added onto and renovated so there was a lot of different stages of construction and different areas that were walled off. So it was really difficult to get to the fire," he said.

Departments from Lanesborough, Cheshire, Dalton, Williamstown, Stephentown and Hinsdale assisted in finally overcoming the Brodie Mountain Road blaze. New Ashford and Richmond were covering stations and Village Ambulance was on-scene.

No cause had yet been determined; the department was waiting for the state fire marshal.

Rash said the owner was receiving a delivery and preparing to open the business when the fire was detected by staff. The blaze was controlled at about 4 p.m. but firefighters will remain on scene to check for hotspots.

"We're doing a thorough investigation," Rash said. "We'll be here probably most of the night."


Pittsfield Teens Found After Four-Hour Search

Staff Reports

HANCOCK, Mass. — Emergency rescuers found two snowboarders lost in the Pittsfield State Forest after a four hour search.

According to police, Shaun Maynard and Anthony Shufelt, two Pittsfield residents in their late teens were snowboarding on the backside of the forest when they got lost.

The two used a cell phone to dial 911, which called into Rensselaer County Sheriff's Department, shortly after 6 p.m. The phone then lost service and the snowboarders attempted to hike back from where their starting point.

State police were coordinating the efforts by the environmental police, Hancock Fire and Rescue and the state Department of Recreation. The hikers were found at 10 p.m. by the environmental police. Neither were injured but both were taken to Berkshire Medical Center for evaluation.

Some 5 to 8 inches of snow had fallen over the region since Monday night and temperatures were plummeting as a cold front moved into the area along with high winds. Forecasters were predicting temperatures overnight to dip below zero with a wind-chill factor of 10 to 20 degrees below zero.

Searchers were reportedly using sirens in the area of Goodrich Hollow Road.

Tags: search      
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