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Suspicious Blaze Destroys Vacant North Adams House

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff
A vacant single-family home on Beaver Street went up in flames Friday morning.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Officials are investigating a suspicious blaze that destroyed a vacant house on Beaver Street early Friday morning.

Firefighters, the state fire marshal's office and Fire Director Stephen Meranti were looking through the burned-out structure later Friday morning. A tree that had fallen over the roof at 60 Beaver St. several months ago was still there — although the roof was gone and the tree heavily charred.

Meranti said the fire is considered suspicious. "There were no utilities connected," he said.

The call came in for a fully involved structure fire at about 3 a.m. Friday, Meranti said, and the police officer who arrived first at the scene confirmed the building was ablaze.

Heavy flames could be seen shooting from the roof and windows when firefighters arrived, he said, and the officer in charge, Lt. John Paciorek, called for a second alarm.

"No entry was attempted," Meranti said. "Our first concern was to protect the area — this was a defensive action."

The house sits near the intersection with Route 2; the only other structure near it is a two-family home to its north. The overgrown yard was only slightly singed although Meranti said more was burned behind the building.

It did not take long to contain the blaze and firefighters were familiar with the house's layout having entered when the tree fell on it earlier this summer. Meranti said the building was empty.

The owner of record, according to the Registry of Deeds, has last been Michael and Diane Kemp. Meranti said they had been notified.

What was left of the structure was to be knocked on Friday for safety reasons.

     

Two-Car Accident Detours Traffic in North Adams

Staff Reports
iBerkshires Staff

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A two-car accident on West Main Street backed up traffic around West Main, Brown and River streets on Thursday afternoon.

According to police a late model black Ford Focus was headed west on West Main when it stopped for a bus in front of it. A white Honda Accord with New York plates apparently did not notice the Ford stopping and plowed into the back of it.

No one was hurt in the accident and the airbags in the Honda went off.

The accident occurred around 3 p.m. just east of Grimes Street. The roadway was limited to one lane and westbound traffic was allowed through and eastbound detoured over Brown Street. The cars were towed from the scene around 3:30 and the road reopened shortly after.
 

     

North Adams Police Searching for Armed Robbery Suspect

Staff Reports
iBerkshires.com
The suspect in an armed robbery at Cumberland Farms was caught on video.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A man armed with a black and silver handgun robbed the Cumberland Farms on Union Street (Route 2) on Wednesday night.

Police say the suspect walked through the front door of convenience store at about 11:33 p.m. and told the clerk to give him all the money. The clerk put the till on the desk and the suspect grabbed the cash and fled.

The suspect is being described as possibly a white or Hispanic male. He was wearing a black and white skull mask, black basketball shorts with a lighter stripe down the side, a black hooded sweat shirt that was inside out and dark colored basketball sneakers.

He may be associated with a small silver sedan.

The city and state police are investigating the armed robbery and anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the North Adams Detective Bureau at 413-662-3105.

     

Missing North Adams Man's Body Found Bronx

Staff Reports
Police are investigating the death of Joshusa Bressette as a homicide.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The body of a missing North Adams man has been discovered in Bronx, N.Y.

The death Joshua S. Bressette is being investigated as a homicide, according to Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless.

Bressette was last seen by friends in the city on Monday, May 5, and his information was entered into a law enforcement missing persons database.

According to Capeless, members of the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force were contacted Wednesday by New York Police Department homicide detectives.

NYPD investigators indicated they found the body of an unidentified man matching Bressette's description in the Bronx.

The body was positively identified Thursday morning.

According to numerous reports from New York City news sources, the body of a man fitting Bressette's description, including a full skeleton tattoo on his torso, was found with gunshot wounds to the head and back atop a roof in the Gun Hill housing project in the Bronx last Thursday night, May 8.

There was reportedly heroin on the body but no ID. The six 13- and 14-story Gun Hill projects buildings on Magenta Street house more than 1,500 people.

Members of the task force are assisting New York detectives with the investigation.

     

North Adams Police Seeking Missing City Man

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police are seeking the whereabouts of Joshua S. Bressette, 25, who has been missing since Monday, May 5.

Bressette requires a well-being check and may be in danger.

He was last seen in the city between 3 and 4 p.m. on Monady at the Price Chopper parking lot on State Road.

He is about 5-foot-7, 140 pounds and has brown hair and blue eyes. He has a number of distinctive tattoos, including "Live Fast Die Young" and a star with an eye on his neck; the Star of David on his right elbow; and a skeleton on his right side of his torso.

He usually wears dark clothes, knit cap and glasses.

Anyone with information on Bressette or has seen him since Monday afternoon, is asked to contact the Police Department at 413-664-4944. Anonymous tips can be made to the detective's bureau at 413-662-3105, Ext. 4210.
 

     
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