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Stamford Firefighters Respond to Report of Smoking Floor

Staff Reports
iBerkshires
Firefighters were at a home on Main Road on Thursday night for reports of smoke in a floor.

STAMFORD, Vt. — Firefighters were at the scene of a reported structure fire on Main Road on Thursday evening.

The call came in around 8:40 of a possible fire in the floor of 1085 Main Road, near a woodstove. The floor was reportedly smoking.

With temperatures hovering around 10 degrees, firefighters stationed around the house while some entered with equipment. Smoke could be seen through the open front door, where firefighters appeared to be cutting through the floor.

Update: Fire Chief Paul Ethier emailed us the particulars Friday morning.

The call came in as a structure fire.

"The couple that lived at the home came home and found their house filled with smoke," said Ethier. "When we arrived on scene, we found fire burning through the floor structure below the woodstove in the living room. We knocked that down pretty quickly with one handline."

Ethier said the fire was contained to the area of origin but the home did sustain some minor structural damage. In addition, some electrical wires in the area were also damaged and will have to be replaced.

Firefighters removed two pets from the home; no one was injured.

"Our firefighters did a great job and were able to keep damage to a minimum," said the fire chief. "We initally called for mutual aid from Readsboro and Clarksburg, however, once we were able to get on scene and knock down the fire, firefighters from Readsboro were canceled."

Clarksburg firefighters stayed on the scene with their airtruck and refilled the SCBA bottles. The North Adams Ambulance Service was also on scene.

     

Accident Sends Wilmington Man to Hospital

Staff Reports

STAMFORD, Vt. — An early morning accident sent a man to North Adams Regional Hospital Monday.

State police responded to the accident on Route 100. The northbound driver, 44-year-old Randy DeBlois of Wilmington, Vt., spun out of control on the snow-covered road and crossed into the southbound lane, according to the report. The southbound car, driven by Nathan Braman, 27, couldn't avoid a crash — the passenger side of the spun-out, northbound car collided with the front end of the southbound truck.
 
As a result, DeBlois was hospitalized with head injuries, lacerations and possible internal injuries. His car was totaled.
 
According to the report, alcohol "appears to be a contributing factor."
     

Stamford Fire Department Douses Early Morning Structure Fire

STAMFORD, Vt. — The Stamford Volunteer Fire Company responded to a structure fire on Friday morning at 2:19 at 186 Collins Road.

The couple renting the home was alerted to the fire by their daughter, who smelled smoke before working smoke detectors in the home sounded. The family evacuated the home and called 911.

When the fire company arrived at 2:28 a.m., firefighters found the wall behind the fireplace was on fire. The fire was quickly extinguished and parts of the wall and ceiling were removed to check for fire extension.

"The cause of the fire is still under investigation, however, it is believed to have been caused by a faulty chimney liner," said Fire Chief Paul Ethier.

Twenty firefighters from Stamford responded to the call as did firefighters from Readsboro and Clarksburg, Mass. The North Adams Ambulance Service was also on scene but there were no injuries. All units cleared the scene at 4:31 a.m.
     

Massive Fire Destroys Vermont Lumber Yard Building

Staff Reports
iBerkshires
STAMFORD, Vt. — Firefighters from five volunteer fire companies spent more than eight hours battling a massive blaze at Eagle Lumber Co. off Route 100.

The fire consumed a 12,000 square-foot structure, known as the process building, at the sawmill at 220 Robillard Ave. Firefighters were on the scene more eight hours containing and dousing the blaze at the family-owned sawmill.

"We don't have a cause ... the state fire marshal will investigate," said Fire Chief Paul Ethier, but there were no indications it was suspicious. "This fire is not suspicious. There is no suspicion here whatsover but we have yet to determine the cause."

The fire was reported at 4:23 a.m. and firefighters arrived just four minutes later to find the fire raging.

"The entire factory was fully involved," said Ethier. "We kept it from spreading to five other buildings."

"It got a good head start on us. We had a good water suply with large diameter hose, so once we got the water established we were in good shape."

Fire trucks from Stamford, Readsboro and Whitingham, as well as Clarksburg and Florida, Mass., lined Robillard in the morning darkness. Hoses snaked up the driveway and across the yard between outbuildings to reach the inferno. Large stacks of lumber and flooring could be seen ablaze inside the building.

A neighbor on nearby Brookside Drive said he was making coffee when the power flickered at about 4:20; he looked out the window and could see the orange glow to the south.

The electrical flickering shut off small appliances throughout town but apparently had nothing to do with the fire but with a problem Green Mountain Power was working on in Readsboro.

The sawmill has long been owned by the Potvin family. The building housed planers, saws and other sawmill equipment, as well as lumber. Ethier said the building was insured but the owners were determining with their insurance company on whether all the equipment was covered.

Firefighters cleared the scene at about 1:30. North Adams (Mass.) Ambulance Service also responded to the fire.

The weather cooperated as snow was light and the temperatures moderate, making fighting the fire somewhat easier. However, slippery conditions caused two injuries — a firefighter and an emergency medical technician — who both took falls. Both were taken to North Adams (Mass.) Regional Hospital. 

More photos here.


Editor's note:  Wording changed referring to the fire chief's comment on not knowing cause of fire to more accurately reflect what he said.

Original Post: 6:46 a.m., Feb. 11, 2012

STAMFORD, Vt. — A massive fire early Saturday morning destroyed a warehouse building at Eagle Lumber Co. off Route 100.

Stamford volunteer firefighters were aided by nearby departments, including Readsboro and Whitingham and Clarksburg and Florida, Mass., in containing the blaze and preventing it from jumping to nearby buildings at the sawmill.

The fire at 220 Robillard Ave. started before 4:30 a.m. and was fully involved when firefighters arrived. The cause was not immediately available and firefighters were expected to be on the scene for some time. North Adams Ambulance was also on the scene.

A neighbor on nearby Brookside Drive said he was making coffee when the power flickered at about 4:20; he looked out the window and could see the orange glow to the south.

Eagle Lumber Co. is a long-held family business operated by the Potvins. The building housed a variety of equipment and lumber, including flooring. Large stacks of lumber could be seen stacked inside the burning building.

More photos here.

     

Stolen Property Being Returned to Owners

Staff Reports

LENOX, Mass. — The items held as evidence in the case against burglary kingpin Stefan Veremko are being released to their owners.

The Lenox Police Department has been holding hundreds of items seized in November 2009 from Veremko's home, vehicle and areas where he had discarded the property. Veremko's monthslong spree across three states ended when an off-duty officer spotted him fleeing a building - with a pillowcase. 

Multiple police agencies were investigating the break-ins, which stretched from Southern Vermont to South County. As a result, Veremko and accomplice Tara Malloy were arrested. The recent conclusion of the case convicting Veremko and giving him five- to seven-year state prison sentence allows police the opportunity to return the seized evidence to the many victims involved with this case, said Chief Stephen E. O'Brien.

Many people came to the Lenox Town Hall on Nov. 19, 2009, to view the vast array of items. Some were able to identify items that indeed belonged to them. While conducting this process, during the exit interview, these victims were asked to provide a phone number at which they could be reached at the conclusion of the case.

Within the next several days, the victims who identified property will be receiving a call from the Lenox Police to arrange for the release of their property. All of the property that was identified will be returned to its rightful owner. For victims from the states of Vermont and New York, their property will be released to the police agency having jurisdiction over the crime. The out-of-state agency will make a determination if that property may be released or if it will remain held pending future criminal action against Veremko and Malloy in their states.

"We are asking for everyone's patience as we attempt to relinquish property in an orderly fashion to be certain that each and every victim recoups their loss," said O'Brien. "We also thank everyone involved for their patience as this case made its way through the criminal court system."

Tags: Veremko, burglary, break-ins      
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