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North Adams Home Damaged in Early Morning Fire

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — An early morning fire severely damaged the side of a multifamily home on East Quincy Street.

The blaze was called in shortly before 2 a.m. on Monday morning by neighbors who reported smoke and flames; the north side of the building was described as glowing.

Fire Director Stephen Meranti said the fire burned up through the basement stairs along the exterior wall, undermining the stair landings and forcing firefighters to attack the blaze from the outside.

"We had to make entrance through the basement, knock down the basement, put out the fire on the first floor then work our way up," he said.

The 1880 building has two units, up and down, and is currently unoccupied. Owner George Ames Jr., who was at the scene, confirmed it was vacant.

The fire is believed to have started in the basement but the cause was unclear early this morning.

Its path could be clearly seen from the damaged exterior. The heat melted off the vinyl  siding and burned through the wall and up to the roof line. Firefighters used an exterior staircase to access the burning wall.

Most of the fire damage appeared to be contained to the rear north corner of the building, including the upstairs apartment.

The steep, narrow street was crowded with emergency vehicles. North Adams responded with three trucks, including the ladder truck. Clarksburg Fire covered the station and sent  its air truck scene. North Adams Ambulance Service set up its rehab trailer.

Berkshire Gas and National Grid were expected to arrive to disconnect the structure.

Meranti said a fire watch would be set for the rest of the night.
 

     

North Adams Police: Two Women Struck by Motor Vehicle

Police say the two women struck by car did not have life-threatening injuries.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Two women were struck by a vehicle while crossing Union Street in front of McDonald's at about 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

According to police, they were in the northbound crosswalk at the intersection of Eagle and Union streets when they were struck by a turning vehicle. Police, firefighters and the North Adams Ambulance Service responded after the dispatch received numerous calls reporting that a pedestrian was hit.

 Both women suffered non-life threatening injuries and were transported to Berkshire Medical Center for treatment.
 
The operator of the motor vehicle was arrested and charged with the following offenses operating with a suspended license, negligent operation for using a cellphone while driving and on a warrant.
 

     

Vermont Man Charged After Vehicle Hits Laundromat

Staff Reports

A Vermont man is facing several charges after his vehicle crashed into the Thrifty Bundle Laundromat in North Adams.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A Vermont driver whose vehicle ran into the Thrifty Bundle Laundromat has been charged with an OUI.

North Adams Fire, Ambulance, and Police responded to the Thrifty Bundle Laundromat on Ashland Street around 9 p.m. Thursday night after a Ford Escape struck the building.

The police log states that the car struck the building and the driver attempted to leave the scene. There were no injuries but the building was flooded and the building department was contacted.

A wrecker took the vehicle away.

James Beckwith, 28, of Stamford, Vt., was arrested and charged with operating under the influence of liquor, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and destruction of property over $250.

Thrifty Bundle remains closed until repairs can be made.

     

Cooking Fire Causes Smoke, Water Damage at North Adams Housing Authority

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
North Adams Ambulance Service responded to a small fire at Ashland Park Apartments on Friday afternoon.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Firefighters evacuated some residents from the high rise on Friday afternoon after a small cooking fire broke out on the 7th floor.

Fire Director Stephen Meranti said the fire was quickly put out by the sprinkler system.

"Right now we are evacuating because of smoke and water. We do have water all the way from the seventh floor all the way down," Meranti said. "We are checking apartments as we go down through, but the sprinkler system did its job."

Meranti said no one was injured.

The Fire Department was alerted to the situation at about 12:30 p.m., when an alarm was activated in a unit at the Ashland Park Apartments. Scanner reports indicated water was "pouring down the hallways" in the Housing Authority building.

Residents clustered in the community room on the ground floor until being allowed back into their homes.

Executive Director Jennifer Hohn said a few units below the seventh-floor apartment were affected.

"A significant amount of water from the sprinklers has entered the units directly below on all floors," she said. "As a result of water seeping into electrical panels, power to these affected units has been shut off."

Hohn said the Holiday Inn was gracious to offer accommodations and a meal for those residents affected by the fire and its containment.

"There is a chance the power will not be restored by the evening so I have reserved a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn for anybody needing accommodations," she said. "I will update the board when a further assessment of the damage is concluded.

"The important thing is nobody was injured."

Police and North Adams Ambulance Service also responded; Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Police assisted with traffic control as Ashland Street was restricted to one lane.

The incident is under investigation. 

     

North Adams Police Search For Driver Who Hit Pedestrian

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police are seeking the driver of a dark Pontiac Sunfire who hit a North Adams man on Wednesday night and drove off.

James Dean was struck while crossing State Street to his home at about 7:45 p.m. He was reportedly carrying white laundry bags and attempted get out of the way as the car sped down on him. He was struck and left in the street; a neighbor saw him and was able to get to him before another car came through.

Dean was taken to Berkshire Medical Center by North Adams Ambulance Service with serious injuries.

The incident occurred near 191 State St. Police received several calls that a man had been hit by a vehicle and knocked down in the street.

Initially, police were looking for a black pickup truck, but the victim identified the vehicle as a Sunfire.

Adams Police Department was asked to be on the lookout for a black Pontiac Sunfire with front passenger-side damage.

As of Thursday afternoon, the motorist had not been found and the incident is still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact North Adams Police at 413-448-9700.

     
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