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Fire Devours Readsboro Home

By Tammy Daniels

A house at 244 Vermont Route 8 was destroyed by an early morning fire. No one was home at the time.

READSBORO, Vt. —  An early morning fire destroyed a unoccupied home along the sparsely settled Route 8 in Heartwellville on Wednesday.

The blaze was called in at 3 a.m. by a motorist who saw flames coming from the single-family home, said Fire Chief Carl Marchegiani. "[The firehouse] is four miles away but we could see the glow in the sky as we came over the flats."

By the time firefighters arrived, the house was fully involved. Whitingham and Stamford fire departments responded to the scene as well and tankers shuttled back and forth from a nearby water source as firefighters battled the blaze in the frigid temperatures.

The two-story home at 244 Vt. Route 8 is owned by Richard A. Larabee, who is currently residing in South Carolina, said Marchegiani. A family member was keeping an eye on the residence.

Smoke was still spilling from the house's smoldering remains early in Wednesday afternoon. Marchegiani said the fire is believed to have started somewhere under the eaves but its cause may never be known because the damage to the structure was so exentensive.

"I can't let anybody in there," he said. "It's too dangerous."

The fire burned so hot it distorted and collapsed the metal roof; ice coated the charred studs and the remains of a spring mattress hung from what was left of a second-floor joist. The stone chimney had buckled in the middle, giving it a curved appearance. Icicles dripped from an elderly Toyota Land Cruiser in the front yard.

Marchegiani said the house would have to be demolished soon. "It's too dangerous to leave it like this."


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Adams Collision Sends Woman to BMC

Staff reports

ADAMS, Mass. — A head-on collision between a pickup and a car on Howland Avenue  in front of the Dugout Motel at about 2:22 p.m. sent an eldery woman to the hospital.

Maryann Dilego, 71, of 100 Howland Ave. was taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield by Adams Ambulance Service after the red 2002 Hyundai Accent she was driving collided with a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado truck driven by Gary Mazzantini, 50, of 1690 Windsor Road, Cheshire. No further information was provided in the police report.

Mazzantini reportedly refused treatment at the scene. Howland Avenue (Route 8) was closed to traffic from Hodges Cross Road in North Adams to Lime Street for a time. The state police accident reconstruction team was called to the scene and the accident is still under investigation.

There was a persistent rumor that someone was killed in the accident but police confirmed on Tuesday that there were no fatalities.

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Crime Watch Sets Meeting, Seeks Volunteers

Stamford/Clarksburg Crime Watch

CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Your Stamford/Clarksburg Community Watch Group is looking for volunteers.

We need your help. We can't do this with out you!

Become a volunteer and join the Neighborhood Watch Group official committee. Be part of this volunteer group and help out your community and protect your home and your neighbor's. It is easy and rewarding work that will keep you informed.

To sign-up, send an e-mail to stamfordcw@gmail.com with your name, contact number and how you would like to volunteer by Jan. 4, 2010.

We are forming an official volunteer committee. We will meet to construct our basic organization before our next scheduled open Community Watch meeting on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 1 p.m. at Stamford (Vt.) School.

See the web site, www.TownCrimeWatch.com, for more information and details.
Question: What do I need to do as a Neighborhood Crime Watch volunteer?

Volunteers help set meeting dates/locations and attend community and committee meetings, promote meetings and raise awareness, make and distribute fliers, sign-up for e-mail alerts, organize meetings and set the agenda, contribute ideas for the group's success, type minutes, organize refreshments/food, help design Web site sections and additions, come to meetings early to set up chairs and tables, etc.

Sign-up to do as much or as little as you can. We appreciate any and all residents who are willing to help.

Want to know about the latest break-in/burglary in your town? Come to the meeting. Find us out on Facebook at Stamford Vermont Crime Watch (which includes Clarksburg news).

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Hoosac Valley Wrestler Injured in Crash

Staff reports

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A Hoosac Valley High School teen was seriously injured Wednesday night in a one-car accident that closed Routes 2 & 7 for three hours.

Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to extricate Nicholas Morey, 17, of East Road from his 1995 Jeep Cherokee after it landed in Hemlock Brook. He was taken to Berkshire Medical Center by Village Ambulance with leg and head injuries. A Life Flight helicopter from Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center was contacted but could not fly because of the weather conditions.

Morey was on his way home after competing in a wrestling match at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington as a member of the Mount Greylock Regional High School's cooperative wrestling team. Buses had returned the team to Mount Greylock, from which Morey took his own car home.

Police received 911 calls beginning at 9:12 p.m. that the Jeep had veered off the road, over the guardrails and into the brook just south of Coyote Flaco.

Traffic was rerouted at the Five Corners intersection and Field Park until 12:30 a.m. while the state police accident reconstruction team investigated the accident and the vehicle was pulled from the brook.

Williamstown Police were also assisted at the scene by members of the North Adams Police.

Update on Dec. 18: The investigation into Morey's accident on Dec. 16 was completed. As a result, he was issued a citation for a marked-lanes violation. Speed and alcohol were not contributing factors in the crash.

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If You See Smoke ... Stop!

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — We want to give kudos to three of our colleagues over in the Raceway Media department for helping prevent a catastrophe on Sunday afternoon.

Rob Adams, Michael Alvarez and Danielle Trumbull were on their way back from Albany (N.Y.) Airport on Sunday after attending a motorsports trade show for our big sister RacingJunk.com when they saw smoke billowing from a house at 1950 Route 7 in New Brunswick, N.Y.

They pulled over and ran up to the house and banged on the door to alert the occupants and called 911.

"We just saw the smoke and stopped to help," said Alvarez. The woman in the home fled the building.

The fire was contained to the front porch but the highway was closed for a time as firefighters arrived at the scene. Alvarez said they felt bad for the homeowner who apparently had recently moved to the area and seemed surprised they'd stopped to help.

"We didn't do it for recognition or anything. It was just instinct," he said.

Both the Troy Record and Fox23 News reported on the fire.

The photos were taken at the scene by Alvarez.


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