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Searchers Recover Body of Missing Pittsfield Man in State Forest

LENOX, Mass. — Investigators do not suspect foul play in the death of a missing Pittsfield man whose body was discovered Wednesday afternoon in October Mountain State Forest. 
 
The body of 33-year-old Matthew J. Gottung was found about 3 p.m. Wednesday approximately 50 yards off Switchback Trail. The location of the body was not far from where Gottung's vehicle was discovered Monday. 
 
Those involved in the search included members of the Lee and Lenox Police and Fire departments, Berkshire Mountain Search & Rescue, state environmental police, Berkshire County sheriff's office, state police from the Lee barracks and assigned to the Berkshire district attorney's office.
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Home Damaged, Pets Lost in North Adams Fire

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — An early morning fire severely damaged a Greylock Avenue home on Sunday. No one was injured but two pets were lost. 

 
Fire Director Stephen Meranti said the fire began on small exterior porch on the south side of the single-family home. 
 
"It extended up the outside and it entered a window on the second floor and it entered the attic, so the attic was a little difficult," he said. "The fire gets between the slate and board."
 
The fire was called in shortly after midnight by a neighbor, who also alerted the homeowners. The house's fire alarms went off as well, said Meranti.
 
Police Officer Anthony Beverly, who responded within minutes, said he could see the fire before he took the corner onto Greylock and that the smoke was so heavy he had trouble seeing his way around the outside of the house.
 
"The south side of the building was fully on fire," he said. 'The flames were roiling up the side. They knocked it down pretty quick. They did a good job."
 
Fire Lt. John Paciorek called for the oncoming shift en route to the scene after hearing Beverly's description and put out an all call for all shifts to come in when he got to the scene. 
 
Clarksburg Fire Company sent a truck to fill the airpacks and Adams Fire Department was covering the North Adams station. North Adams Ambulance Service set up a rehab tent for firefighters to get out the rain. 
 
Meranti said the occupants were able to get out of the house but not their two cats. 
 
"They lost the two cats in there, they couldn't revive them," he said.
 
The incident is still under investigation but is not considered suspicious. 
 

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Great Barrington Rescuers Locate Missing 13-Year-Old Boy

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A 13-year-old special needs child who went missing early Thursday afternoon during a hike was located shortly before 7 p.m.

Police Chief William Walsh and Fire Chief Charles Burger said more than 75 rescuers took part in the search that successfully located the child.

Rescuers responded at 12:15 p.m. to Fountain Pond State Park, a 250-acre park bisected by U.S. Route 7, for a report of a missing hiker. Upon arrival, officials were told that the boy became separated from his group during a hike and could not be located.

Firefighters began a search of approximately 3 miles of trails, but were unable to locate him.

Multiple jurisdictions were summonsed to conduct a thorough search of the area, including:

• Great Barrington Police and Fire Crews

• Great Barrington Police K-9

• K-9 units from Pittsfield and Williamstown

• The Berkshire County Sheriff's Office Dive Team and Mobile Communications Vehicle

• The Massachusetts State Police Airwing, State Police Search and Emergency Response Team

• Berkshire County Mountain Search and Rescue Team

• Massachusetts Environmental Police

• The Sheffield Fire Department

• The Stockbridge Fire Department and Stockbridge Fire Boat

Crews deployed over a wide area. Thankfully, the boy was found shortly before 7 p.m. at the top of a ridge well off the trails. He was found unharmed and in good health. Rescuers reunited him with his parents.

"This was a tremendous team effort that involved dozens of rescuers from many of our neighboring and partner agencies. I am very pleased that so many resources could muster in a short time, resulting in the successful rescue of this young boy," Walsh said.

"Mutual aid is a force multiplier that allows Berkshire County emergency services to greatly increase our effectiveness in times of need. The system showed its value today, and a child was reunited with his family," said Burger.

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Hairpin Turn Collision Sends Two to Hospital

Staff Reports
iBerkshires
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — A two-car collision at the curve of the Hairpin Turn sent the drivers to the emergency room.
 
Police Chief Michael Williams said the injuries appeared non-life-threatening but both individuals were taken by ambulance to the emergency facility at Berkshire Medical Center's North Adams campus. 
 
The accident occurred shortly after 3:30 and the scene was cleared at 4:08 p.m. It initially was reported as a head-on crash involving three people. 
 
A gray Toyota Corolla heading east apparently took the V-shaped corner too wide and too fast and collided with a black Chevy Impala heading west. The Toyota's front end hit the Chevy's driver's side door, close to the yellow line, Williams said. 
 
The Toyota was travelling higher than the posted speed of 15 mph but not at a high speed, he said. 
 
The airbags deployed in both vehicles and the drivers were only passengers. The Toyota suffered heavy damage on the driver's side front end and the Chevy's driver's side door was buckled. They were towed from the scene by Mohawk Auto and Dean's Quality Auto. 
 
The sharp curve was reduced to one lane traffic for the half hour or so responders were at the scene. Clarksburg Police were assisted by North Adams Police and state police. Clarksburg Fire Company also responded as did North Adams Ambulance Service. 
 
The accident was still under investigation.
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Two Juveniles Arrested in Relation to Sullivan School Arson

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police have arrested two juveniles related to the fires set inside Sullivan School on Friday night. 
 
Police Director Michael Cozzaglio said the two juveniles were arrested on Monday afternoon but have not yet been arraigned. Their names are being withheld because of their ages. 
 
"These fires were intentionally set," Cozzaglio said. "It was pretty serious stuff and we wanted to resolve this as quickly as possible."
 
He said no further information could be released at this time. 
 
Firefighters were called to the vacant Sullivan School at about 8:12 p.m. on Friday and spent nearly two hours searching the multi-level school in heavy smoke and dousing a number of fires.
 
All off-duty firefighters were called in because of the amount of manpower needed to contain the building. Fire Director Stephen Meranti on Friday night had initially said three fires had been discovered but later updated that to multiple fires on more than one level. 
 
There were four fire extinguishers lined up at the front of the building when firefighters arrived.
 
The 51,000 square foot building has been empty for more than a year since the opening of Colegrove Park Elementary School but was being used for storage. It also still contains a lot of school materials and furnishings that were left behind. It was recently listed for sale by the city.
 
Cozzaglio said the investigation was lead by Officer Brad Vivori with assistance from the state police Arson Unit and other North Adams officers and investigative agencies. 
 
"It really was a team effort. Everyone's pitched in with this," he said, adding that officers pushed to find the suspects behind the fires both because of the seriousness of the crime and to "give our citizens peace of mind."
 
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Recent Entries:
Searchers Recover Body of Missing Pittsfield Man in State Forest
Home Damaged, Pets Lost in North Adams Fire
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