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Crane Operator Killed in Vermont Construction Accident

SEARSBURG, Vt. — A Maine man was killed when the crane he was operating hit a live electrical wire on Tuesday morning.

David Sprague, 59, of Windham, Maine, was working at a construction site on Putnam Road, off Route 8, when he drove his crane under a series of high tension power lines at about 11:00 a.m. The crane struck one of the lines, electrocuting Sprague.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and an autopsy will be performed by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner.

Green Mountain Power responded immediately and quickly rendered the scene safe, according to state police. Troopers were also assisted on scene by Wilmington Fire Department, Bennington Fire Department, Deerfield Valley Rescue and Bennington Rescue.

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Four Arrested on Gun, Drug Charges After Pittsfield Car Chase

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Four people were arrested on firearm and drug offenses following a traffic stop Monday evening.
 
Police say the department's anti-crime unit conducted a motor vehicle stop on Lincoln Street at about 7 p.m. As the officers approached the vehicle, it took off at a high rate of speed. Police pursued the vehicle and saw a firearm thrown out of the window.
 
Eventually, the driver pulled the vehicle over near the intersection of Fourth Street and Curtis Street.
 
Javan Rodriguez, 20, of Pittsfield was the driver of the vehicle. The passengers were Carey Pilot, 44, of Pittsfield, Samuel Thomason, 21, of Lenox, and Thomas Tobin, 43, of Pittsfield. There was also a juvenile, identified as Pilot's daughter, in the vehicle. 
 
The four adults were all arrested and charged with numerous crimes.
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North Adams Fire Battles Eagle Street Blaze

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff

Flames were pouring out of the second floor of the building. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A Victorian on Eagle Street sustained extensive damage after it broke out in flames on Saturday night.
 
The second floor of the large circa-1900 home at 243 Eagle was in flames when the first emergency responders arrived at the scene.
 
"We come around the corner and it was very obvious we were going to need the entire department," said Lt. Michael Sherman, who responded with C group, the shift on duty. An all-call was made to bring in off-duty firefighters. 
 
The owner, listed as Sandra Thomas, made a 911 call, said Lt. John Paciorek. She was able to exit the building and get her pets, a dog and two cats, out of the house as well.
 
Thomas recalled seeing smoke and fire in the house as she made her way out with the last cat. 
 
"There was fire showing on the second floor of the building ... they advanced hose lines to the second floor to extinguish it," said Paciorek. "At the same time, there was fire showing on the first floor in the back and that was extinguished as well."
 
As the fire was contained in the front of the building, flames burst through a back window on the first floor in the back along Liberty Street. It took at least an hour to bring the blaze under control.
 
Paciorek said it wasn't clear yet what the path of the fire was or what caused it. The blaze is still under investigation and the state fire marshal's office has been contacted.
 
However, he said, "it is not deemed suspicious at this time."
 
The call came in at 9:53 p.m. and the fire wasn't fully out until after 11 p.m. Eagle Street was blocked by emergency equipment from Hall Street to the fork at Franklin Street. Emergency vehicles lined Eagle Street and the Fire Department's ladder truck was situated on Liberty Street.
 
North Adams Ambulance Service responded as did the city's Wire & Alarm Department. Mayor Richard Alcombright also visited the scene.
 
Firefighters began cleaning up the scene around midnight and planned to keep a fire watch through the night.
 
"It's a good group of guys. They knew the job. they got in there and got the brunt of the fire down," Sherman said. "Then going in and getting to the hot spots. ... 
 
"The guys on the Fire Department did their job and did it well." 
 
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Great Barrington Fire Douses Blaze at Mill Complex


Embers from burning brush caused the roof of the structure to catch fire.
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Great Barrington Fire Department extinguished a fire at an abandoned mill building on Saturday afternoon, the second fire in a week caused by embers igniting during dry weather. 
 
Just after noon, the department was dispatched for a roof fire behind the Housatonic Fire Station (Great Barrington Station 2), according to Chief Charles Burger.
 
Crews quickly confirmed that the roof of the abandoned Power House Mill — a 200-foot by 100-foot masonry building with 50-foot ceilings that's part of the Monument Mills complex — was on fire. The building is located at 174 Front St.
 
Firefighters arrived on scene within minutes and began attacking the fire. The department's 100-foot tower ladder was needed to access the fire because of the height of the building.
 
The fire was quickly brought under control and contained to the roof of half the structure, and crews cleared the scene by 2:30 p.m. The Stockbridge Fire Department assisted on scene, the Lenox Fire Department sent a Rapid Intervention Team and the Sheffield Fire Department provided station coverage.
 
An investigation by the Fire Department indicated that the owner of the mill was burning brush about 75 feet from the building and the embers caught the building's roof on fire.
 
Saturday's fire is the second that occurred in Great Barrington this week. At noon on Monday, April 10, firefighters responded to a porch fire at 18 Sumner St. It was contained to the porch and the house remained inhabitable. An investigation determined that the fire began from a cigarette disposed of in the mulch next to the porch.
 
"Is it extremely important that community members remember to properly dispose of smoking material and monitor brush fires, especially as we head into warmer, dryer weather," Burger said. "As we've seen this week, anything with embers can easily start a fire." 
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Police Investigating Shooting in Pittsfield

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A 17-year-old boy was shot Thursday evening.
 
Police say the new gunshot detection system, ShotSpotter, alerted officers to shots fired at the intersection of Wahconah and Canal Street at about 7:45 p.m. Patrols found the 17-year-old juvenile with a gunshot wound. The juvenile was transported to Berkshire Medical Center and treated for non-life threatening injuries.
 
Police are still investigating the shooting and are asking for anyone with information to contact them at 413-448-9705 or submit tips through the drug hotline, 413-448-9705. 
 
Authorities say there is no indication that the safety of the general public is at risk.
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