NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A high-speed chase on Saturday night ended with a single-car crash on Route 2 that sent three of the vehicle's occupants to the hospital.
According to police, Michael Gancarz, 18, of Lime Street, Adams, was traveling north on Howland Avenue at speeds in excess of 100 mph in a 2006 Subaru Impreza at about 9:30.
The vehicle was totaled; booms can be seen near where the car landed to contain any oil leakage.
Adams Police pursued and contacted North Adams Police. Within minutes, the Subaru had smashed through the guardrails and a stop sign at the intersection of Curran Memorial Highway and South State Street, near The Range miniature golf course.
The car went airborne and landed in a ditch near the near a body of water.
Passengers Justin Meczywor, 17, of Clarksburg and two girls whose names were not released because of their ages were taken to North Adams Regional Hospital.
Gancarz was charged by Adams Police with operating a vehicle with intent to endanger, failing to stop for police, a marked-lanes violation and speeding.
A fire truck blocks traffic from entering Church Street at the intersection with Ashland Street on Thursday night. Homes near the Hoosac Tunnel were evacuated over reports of a strong smell of chlorine.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A stretch of Church Street was closed for more than three hours on Thursday night after a strong chlorine smell was reported near the Hoosac Tunnel.
The hazardous material team found no indication of chlorine and the scene was being cleared shortly after 11 p.m.
The Fire Department responded to 892 Church St., near the mouth of the Hoosac Tunnel at 8 p.m. according to the police log. Public Safety Commissioner E. John Morocco said two firefighters in protective gear approached the tunnel and saw an "orange cloud."
"Just to be safe, we evacuated some of the residences on Church Street and West Shaft Road," he said. The Florida Fire Department also was alerted to check the town's entrance to the five-mile railroad tunnel but found no odor on their end.
Morocco said a train had traveled through the tunnel prior to the report of the odor. Pan Am Railways was contacted and the train and cars were stopped in New York State and inspected but nothing was found.
Fire Director Stephen Meranti, two fire trucks, police, North Adams Ambulance Service and representatives from the railway were at the scene.
The road was closed between Hodges Cross and the intersection with Ashland Street. There are few residences along that section of road, with most of the frontage taken up by cemeteries, Morrison Berkshire, Berkshire Family and Individual Resources, the old cider mill, the School Department's greenhouse program and a bus depot.
Chlorine is a common disinfectant used widely in swimming pools. It can irritate the eyes and respiratory system and, in high concentrations, cause lung damage and even death.
The hazmat team arrived at about 9:30 and four team members went to the tunnel to take readings that came up negative. A hazmat truck was also reportedly on Main Street for a time.
"They didn't find anything. Whatever was there had dissipated," said Morocco.
Residents were going to be allowed back in their homes as the scene was cleared.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — An apartment fire at 585 State Road on Wednesday afternoon has left a couple temporarily homeless and shut down traffic on the busy highway for nearly an hour.
The fire was contained to the Apartment B duplex on the second floor but a second apartment with a single occupant suffered smoke damage. No one was injured and all the occupants evacuated safely.
When firefighters arrived they were unsure if there was anybody still in the building. The responders broke into two crews – one to search and the other to extinguish the fire in the second-floor bedroom, according to Fire Director Stephen Meranti.
"We had multiple calls on it so we call in all off-duty personnel," Meranti said. "The guys did a great job knocking it down quickly."
Utilities were also disconnected and firefighters protected the first floor with tarps to prevent water damage.
The building was being checked by Building Inspector William Meranti but was not believed to have suffered any structural damage. A fire watch was being set for the night.
The Red Cross was also called in for assistance.
The road, Route 2, was closed for about an hour between West Liquors and Ashton Avenue, although limited traffic was allowed through.
The fire was reported at 1:15 p.m. by multiple callers, at least one of whom described flames coming out of the building.
While on scene, the department also received calls of an alarm on Frederickson Street and a kitchen fire on Union Street. Wednesday morning the department also responded to a kitchen fire at Mohawk Forest.
A resident reported smelling smoke in the attic before smoke detectors went off, which gave firefighters enough time to prevent a fully involved fire.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — An early morning fire at 170-172 Bracewell Ave. left about 10 people homeless Wednesday despite being snuffed out quickly, according to the Fire Department.
Firefighters were able to prevent the blaze from expanding throughout the old wooden structure but the residents will be displaced until some minor renovations are completed, Fire Department Lt. John Paciorek said Wednesday afternoon.
"It was good that they were that fast. Another few minutes on a balloon-frame structure makes a big difference," Paciorek said on Wednesday. "It was a great stop on their part."
A resident on the second floor of the building that houses two apartments reported the smell of smoke from the attic at about 3:45 a.m. Upon arrival Lt. Joseph Beverly and the city's group C firefighters used thermal imaging to find a fire between the ceiling of the second floor and the attic, according to Paciorek.
All city firefighters were later called in and had to tear up attic floorboard and break windows to prevent the blaze from expanding. There were no injuries, he said.
"Everybody got out safely," Paciorek said. "Which is great considering the time of night."
The building is structurally sound but there is smoke and water damage that will have to be fixed before residents can move back in, he said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation but it does not appear to be suspicious, Paciorek said.
An air truck from the Adams Fire Department assisted on the call and an engine from the Clarksburg Fire Department covered the city's station. Firefighters were on scene for about four hours and then a fire watch unit stayed until about 10 a.m. looking for hotspots.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — It is unknown what will happen with the Eagle Street Music storefront in the wake of the proprietor's recent arrest.
Matthew D. Berger, who opened the music store last month, was arrested last week on charges of distribution of oxycodone and oxymorphone. The store has been closed since and landlord Eric Rudd said he does not know what will become of it.
"I'm less than happy about the situation. They have a lease and so far have not contacted me," Rudd, who was out of the country when the arrest was made, said in an e-mail Friday.
Berger pleaded not guilty last Tuesday to five charges of distribution of a Class B drug after a Berkshire County Drug Task Force investigation that began last December. He was released on $5,000 cash bail.
Rudd said Berger's father signed a lease for the storefront and on Monday the store was still stocked. The store sold music equipment and accessories and the rear of the space, in the flatirion building, was to be used for private music lessons.
Berger had been on the police radar well before the store's opening. Police said they were tipped off that he was selling prescription drugs, and performed a series of controlled buys as well as watched him at the store. He was arrested inside the shop last Monday.
He also faces possession charges in New York state after New York State troopers said they found a pill grinder and straws containing hydrocodone and oxycodone.
Berger was not available for comment as of Monday.