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North Adams Fire Damages Apartment

Andy McKeever

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.

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Winter Blanket Burns Pittsfield Apartment

Andy McKeever


PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An old electrical blanket ignited early Tuesday morning and gutted an apartment at 100 Springside Ave. 
According to Deputy Fire Chief Keith Phillips, Linda Vandyke woke up when her blanket suddenly caught on fire. She took it outside but returned to find the underside of her bed still burning.
Firefighters were called at about 6:30 a.m., Phillips said.
Van Dyke escaped without injuries but one firefighter cut his hand, Phillips said.
The Fire Department closed off a section of Springside Ave. until about 10:30 a.m. Firefighters had trouble fighting the blaze because a nearby hydrant was buried in snow. Phillips said that residents can be a big help to the department by shoveling the hydrants out. 
Phillips said the blanket was 8-years-old and the wires were damaged because of usage and washing. 
The apartment is one of six in the building but none of the others were damaged, he said. The owner is already boarding the apartment up.
According to state land records, the building is owned by Matthew Pantofel.
Vandyke and her husband Edward Vandyke are reportedly staying with relatives and the tenants of the above apartment were removed because of a strong odor of smoke, Phillips said. Edward Vandyke was not home when it began.


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