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UPS Worker in Pedestrian Accident Treated & Released

Staff Reports

Update and rewrite: 3:42 p.m., Dec. 18, 2014

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A section of Beaver Street was closed to traffic for nearly two hours on Wednesday morning after a United Parcel Service courier was struck while crossing the road.

The courier, Timothy Rooney of Preston Hollow, N.Y., was taken by ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, where he was treated and released.

The accident occurred just after 11 a.m. near the intersection with McCauley Road. According to police, the UPS truck was parked pointing south when Rooney, a seasonal worker assisting a UPS driver, had taken out a package and stepped into the path of a southbound green 2000 Ford pickup truck driven by Justin Henderson of Stamford, Vt.

Henderson was found not at fault and the truck incurred minor damage. The roadway, however, was closed until the state police accident reconstruction team could complete its investigation.


Wheel Estates Fire Destroys Mobile Home

Staff Reports
iBerkshires Staff
There were no flames but lots of heat and smoke when firefighters arrived at a mobile home fire at about 4:30 on Friday afternoon.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A mobile home engulfed in smoke and heat late Friday afternoon is considered a total loss, leaving its owners homeless.

Fire Director Stephen Meranti, speaking at the scene shortly after 5 p.m., said the fire appears to have begun in the kitchen/dining area of the home but the cause had not yet been determined.

The owners, an adult couple, came home to discover the fire. The Red Cross had been informed of their situation.

"We had a reported structure fire and we had smoke showing when we got here," he said.

White smoke was billowing from the older-model mobile home, situated on Alan Drive between Comanche and Cherokee drives and tucked in next to a line of large fir trees.

"There is extensive smoke and heat damage throughout the rest of the structure," Meranti said. "It doesn't take long for a mobile home to lose everything. It holds all the heat."

Three engines and North Adams Ambulance Service responded to the scene, along with the Fire & Alarm Division, National Grid and Berkshire Gas.

Firefighters were checking the roof and walls inside the building to uncover any hotspots and a fire watch was being set up. Most of the equipment was released from the scene by 5:30.


Roofing Work May Have Caused North Adams Fire

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff
Firefighters contained a fire that started on a new porch roof at a home undergoing renovation on East Main Street.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — An errant ember may be to blame for a fire at a home undergoing renovations on East Main Street.

The house is owned by Neal Segala; it is currently unoccupied.

Neighbors said the building across from the intersection with Gallup Street had been undergoing renovations all summer. An old addition had been pulled off and a new open L-shaped porch had been built. The fire apparently began on top of the porch roof on the front left corner of the house.

"They had people working on the building today," said Fire Director Stephen Meranti. "It started on that roof and that's where they were working ... They use a torch to heat up the roofing materials and it got into the framing ...  and extended into the wall."

It is believed an ember from the torch may have flared up inside the roof or wall.

The work stopped at about 4 p.m.; several calls reporting smoke and fire came in about 4:42. Meranti said a column of smoke could be seen from the downtown. All off-duty firefighters were called in.

"When we got here we had fire on the roof and the exterior wall," he said. "The guys did a great job. They grabbed the ladder to the roof, stretched a line to the roof."

Firefighters led by Lt. John Paciorek attacked the blaze from the roof and forced entrance into the vacant building to see if it extended inside. The exterior wall was pulled off at the corner and inside a second story room; firefighters also pulled of the exterior molding on the first floor. The window on the second story room was also pulled out.

The 19th-century house has balloon construction and plank walls.

"We got it before it really extended up into the attic," Meranti said. "We had to open up some walls but it's not super damaged."

The owner was planning to secure the building for the night.


North Adams Police Caution About Realistic-Looking Pellet Guns


North Adams Man Arrested in Rash of Dumpster Fires

Staff Reports
Scott Baker

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police say they have caught an a man believed responsible for nearly a dozen trash container and other fires over the past month.

Scott Baker was arrested on Sunday and charged with eight counts of burning a personal property (a Dumpster) and two counts of burning leaves.

The investigation began Sept. 25 when a trash container behind the North Adams Juvenile Court on Center Street was set on fire — continued to be set on fire on a weekly basis.

There were also two additional incidents on Friday, Halloween, during which piles of leaves were set on fire behind the North Adams Public Library and the old Notre Dame Church on East Main Street. The trash container behind North Adams Juvenile Court was also set on fire the same night.

Baker was apprehended based on video surveillance of the trash container behind the North Adams Juvenile Court. He was noticed walking on Ashland Street by officers shortly after the fire was extinguished. Baker was wearing the same clothes upon apprehension as he was when he set the trash container on fire, said police.

Baker is being held on $1,040 cash bail and will be arraigned in Northern Berkshire District Court on Monday.

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