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Four Residents Displaced Following Pittsfield Fire

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

The slate roof kept heat and fire inside the apartment. Firefighters had to punch a hole through the roof for ventilation. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Four people are displaced after a fire tore through the rear of their South Church Street home.
 
Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said firefighters responded at 12:24 Saturday afternoon to the call at 7 South Church St. One of the occupants, who was the only one home at the time, of the two-family home heard the smoke alarm and then found a fire on the rear porch. He escaped the building through the front stairway. 
 
"On arrival, there was heavy fire on the second floor rear. Guys made an interior attack, knocked down a lot of the fire on the inside of the second floor," Czerwinski said.
 
The cause of the fire had not yet been determined at the scene but later fire investigators found cause to be the careless disposal of smoking materials. The fire had started on the porch and it spread into the apartment and into the attic. The fire did not fall to the first floor.
 
"We think the wind may have had a play in the spread of the fire. Because of a strong wind coming out of the west, it kind of blew it into that apartment. The other problem we had is that it is an old house, probably over 100 years old, and it has a slate roof on it. The slate roof helped keep a lot of the heat and flame in there," Czerwinski said.
 
Firefighters had to knock the slate roof off in order to ventilate the building. The fire was snuffed out fairly quickly and firefighters were packing up to leave shortly before 2 p.m. Nobody was injured in the blaze.
 
The response consisted of three engines, a ladder truck, and Car-2.
 
The fire left the building uninhabitable for now and the damage was estimated at $10,000 to $20,000. Czerwinski said all of the occupants have somewhere else to go for the evening.
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Pittsfield Police Investigating Shooting On Columbus Ave

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are investigating another shooting.
 
Police say Friday morning officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation in the 300 block of Columbus Avenue. There they found an individual who suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
 
The victim was transported to Berkshire Medical Center and the injuries do not appear to be life-threatening. Police say the victim was unable to provide any information about the suspect.
 
The incident is under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact the department at 413-448-9705. Information can also be provided anonymously via the Detective Bureau, the Drug Tips hotline at 413-448-9708, or by texting “PITTIP” plus your message to TIP411 (847411).
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Two-Car Accident Causes Rollover on West Main Street

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A teenager is facing charges after driving in the wrong lane and causing a rollover accident on West Main Street on Wednesday afternoon. 
 
The occupant of the other vehicle had to be extricated by firefighters and was taken to Berkshire Medical Center's North Adams campus with injuries.
 
The 17-year-old, whose name has not yet been released, was westbound just before 3 p.m. in a black Honda Civic near Brown Street when he swerved into the eastbound lane. He tried to pull back out, as seen by the tire tracks on the road, but collided with an eastbound Chevrolet Equinox with two occupants. 
 
The Civic's front driver side fender is believed to have struck the back driver's side of the Equinox, ripping off the back tire. The Equinox hit the curb and flipped over, landing on its roof and facing the north side of Hill Side Cemetery. The Civic came to a stop in the westbound lane about 50 feet away. 
 
Firefighters had to use extrication tools to remove the passenger side door to get to one of the occupants in the Equinox. Both the driver and passenger were taken to BMC North by Northern Berkshire Ambulance Service. The driver of the Civic declined transport but was taken to the satellite emergency facility by his father. 
 
Cariddi Auto towed the Civic and Dean's Towing righted and removed the Equinox. The roadway was closed for about a half-hour and traffic was detoured over Brown Street and Roberts Drive.  
 
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Woman Struck By Train in North Adams

Staff Reports

Update Nov. 7, 2018: The woman struck by the train has been identified as Lindsay Bolte, 29, of North Adams. She incurred serious injuries, including to her leg, but is expected to recover. Two other women were on the trestle with her at the time but were escaped unharmed.


NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A woman was struck by a train while crossing the trestle near American Legion Drive early Tuesday evening. 

According to police, she incurred life-threatening injuries and was taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. Her identity is not being released at this time. 

The woman was in a group of three on the trestle as the train approached shortly before 6 p.m. The other two individuals were able to get off in time and were uninjured.

The train reportedly blew its whistle a number of times to alert the group. It reached the little tunnel before stopping. The tracks are owned by Pan Am Railways and freight trains run through the city usually twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening. 

The trestle goes over the Hoosic River and connects the east bank, off American Legion Drive, to the west bank under the Hadley Overpass to Western Gateway Heritage State Park. 

Police had blocked off the parking lot by Freight Yard Pub and Christopher Columbus Drive. Yellow tape cordoned off the area next to the tracks on the Heritage Park side. Railway personnel arrived on the scene around 7 p.m. 

Further information was not immediately available and the incident is under investigation. 

 

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Pittsfield Police Asking To See Dashcam Videos To Help Solve Shooting

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are looking for any dashcam videos recorded Saturday morning.
 
Police are investigating a shooting incident in which a 30-year-old man was critically injured before 9 a.m. Saturday morning in the area of Spring Street and Willow Street. Police are now asking anybody driving a motor vehicle equipped with a dashcam that morning to let officer see it - regardless of where in the city it was recorded.
 
"The PPD is requesting that anyone operating a motor vehicle equipped with a 'Dashcam' video recording system, within the City of Pittsfield, during the morning of the 3rd between 8 AM and 10 AM, contact the Detective Bureau to make arrangements for the video to be reviewed by an investigator," Police wrote in a statement to the media on Tuesday.
 
"We are interested in obtaining any and all video recordings from that time period, even if the vehicle was not operating in the immediate area of the shooting."
 
Police are asking those with recordings to contact the department at 413-448-9705 and leave a message with contact information if an officer does not answer.
 
"We have made significant progress in this case already, due to the observations of witnesses and their willingness to help us seek justice for this victim. We ask that others come forward as well with this current request for assistance," Police said.
 
Police are also still seeking any additional information that can be provided through the same phone number, the tips hotline at 413-448-9708, by texting the message to 847411, or through private messages on Facebook.
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