Main Street in North Adams was closed for about a half-hour on Friday evening after a passer-by reported a 'suspicious' package on the bench inside the new bus shelter. After some consultation, firefighters opened the yellow manila shipping package go find a bonnet and scarf inside.
Fire Director Stephen Meranti said emergency services had to take precautions because of the way it was reported. Firefighters and police also responded to a 'suspicious' package last week at Walmart that a shopper had accidently left behind.
New Police Officer Joshua Zustra gets a hug from his grandmother, City Councilor Marie Harpin; left, reserve firefighter Tyler Bolte after the ceremony. Below, Bolte, center, takes the oath with Casey Cooke, left, and Brad Sacco.
Clockwise from above left: Officer Brad Vivori is sworn in; Officer Trevor Manning is pinned by the mayor; Zustra; and reserve Police Officers Jonathan Beaudreau, left, and Nicholas Richards.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council chambers were packed on Tuesday night with family and friends eager to see the city's newest police officers and firefighters sworn in.
Officers Brad Vivori, Trevor Manning and Joshua Zustra were sworn in separately as permanent police officers after serving in a reserve capacity. They were officially sworn in by the mayor on July 11 but it has become the administration's policy to have new officers take the oath publicly from City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau on community television.
Zustra received not only a handshake from the mayor and a hug from Gomeau, a former neighbor, like his colleagues, but also hug from his proud grandmother, City Councilor Marie Harpin.
Also taking the oath were reserve Officers Jonathan Beaudreau and Nicholas Richards, and reserve firefighters Casey Cook, Brad Sacco and Tyler Bolte. Reserve firefighter Collin Boucher was not in attendance.
"I think this is a great community event and I'm glad we do this and I'm glad to see so many friends, family and supporters," said the mayor, quipping, "cops, people hate to see you coming, firefighters, people love to see you coming." But he, added, "we truly respect, we value what you do ... it's a lot of hard work, a lot of training, a lot of effort, a lot of risk.
"My wish to you is to be happy at your job, but to be safe and stay so."
North Adams Firefighters Battle Early Morning Blaze
Above, the entire top floor of 69 Chase Ave. was in flames on Sunday morning. Left, the alleyway between the vacant structure and neighboring home is filled with debris that injured a firefighter running a line to the back of the property.
Update at 5 p.m.:
The firefighter injured in this morning's fire has been treated and released from North Adams Regional Hospital.
Fire Director Stephen Meranti said Firefighter Ray King was running a hose between the burning house at 69 Chase Ave. and the neighboring home when the wall collapsed.
"Ray King was stretching a line to the rear when the top of the rear wall fell and struck him in the head," said Meranti.
King is the firefighter who saved the pet duck from a fire on Hoosac Street earlier this month. He was taken to the hospital by North Adams Ambulance Service.
Firefighters were trying to protect buildings on three sides of the burning building at the time — residences on each side and a barn only yards away in the rear.
The blue house, seen in the photo, suffered some damage to its vinyl siding. Both residences were evacuated while firefighters contained the blaze. Residents across the street said they remained in their homes but were awakened by the smoke and flames.
Meranti said multiple calls were made reporting the fire. The arriving truck on the scene called in all off-duty firefighters to battle the blaze that could be seen roaring through the attic.
"It was well involved," he said. "It had a good jump on us. It went up the rear stairway and into the attic."
The fire is under investigation by North Adams Fire Department and the state fire marshal's office. Electrical has been ruled out as a cause because the building has been vacant for some time and there are no utilities.
The house is listed among 13 North Adams properties owned by William R. Romeo 2004 Revocable Trust on a deed dated 2006. It has been vacant for some time.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Firefighters battled a structure fire early Sunday morning that destroyed a vacant home on Chase Avenue.
The fire was reported at about 5 a.m. The flames could be seen bursting through the roof and a section of the house collapsed. The unoccupied structure was in a close-packed residential area on the north side of the city's downtown.
A firefighter incurred injuries, reportedly minor, at the scene and was taken to North Adams Regional Hospital.