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North Adams Kitchen Fire Forces Owner to Flee

Staff Reports
Firefighters responded to a kitchen fire on State Road on Sunday evening.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A kitchen fire at about 4 p.m. at 70 State Road on Sunday forced the owner and her 5-year-old granddaughter to flee.

Fire Director Stephen Meranti said Dolores Girard did the right thing when she found the fire in her kitchen.

"They discovered the fire and they got out," he said. When Girard had trouble using her cordless phone, "a passerby stopped and they called 911 for her."

No one was injured but a small dog that was found upstairs was given oxygen. He appeared to be doing well.

Flames were shooting out a side window when firefighters arrived. The pulled in hoses through the front of the house to attack the blaze. Police had arrived first and determined everyone was out except for one of two dogs.

"The guys knocked it down before I even got here," Meranti said, after viewing the damage inside the single-family home. "They did a really good job."

Meranti said the fire appears to have started in the vicinity of the stove; the kitchen incurred water and fire damage and the rest of the house has significant smoke damage. The health inspector determined all the food in the kitchen could not be salvaged. The side window had to be pulled out and burnt wood and materials was piled outside it.

Girard's daughter, Carol Girard Lemaire, said her mother and niece were weathering the incident and members of their large family had arrived at the home to help.

"She's shaken up but she's OK, the little girl's OK but she was shaken up, too," she said. "Mom's got eight of us, so all eight of us are around here and we'll find a place for her."

Firefighters were using fans to air out the building and expected to be there throughout the night along with a police presence. North Adams Ambulance Service also responded.

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Superior Court Briefs: November 12 - November 14

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, November 12.
 
Bayshawn Irvis, 24, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a loaded firearm and violation of a firearm surrender order.
 
The charges are in connection with an incident in Pittsfield on February 10, 2013. He was ordered to serve concurrent two year sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the illegal possession of a firearm and the violation of a firearm surrender order. He was placed on two years probation on the illegal possession of a loaded firearm charge.
 
Lance Latimer, 34, of North Adams pleaded guilty to two counts of receiving stolen property over $250.
 
His case was continued without a finding for one year. Latimer was in possession of stolen property in North Adams between February 24, 2012 and March 9, 2012.
 
Two counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime and a single count of larceny over $250 were dismissed by the state.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, November 13.
 
Kevin Heideman, 31, of North Adams was found guilty of a single count of disturbing the peace.
 
The charge was in connection with an incident in North Adams on December 2, 2011. Heideman was ordered to pay a $150 fine. 
 
The jury found him not guilty of single counts of rape, assault and battery, malicious destruction of personal property and intimidation of a witness in connection with the same incident.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, November 14.
 
John Jones, 37, of Ashley Falls pleaded guilty to single counts of larceny - an ongoing and continuing offense - and making false entries into corporate books.
 
He was ordered to serve two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the larceny charge and a concurrent one year sentence on the other. 
 
While employed at Kenver Limited in Egremont, Jones took approximately $65,000 between November 1, 2010 and February 11, 2012.
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North Adams DPW Worker Guilty of Spilling Diesel Fuel

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A North Adams man pleaded guilty on Wednesday afternoon in Berkshire Superior Court to several charges.

Glenn A. Robert, 63,  pleaded guilty before Judge John Agostini on single counts of violation of the notification requirement of a release or threat of release of oil or hazardous waste, illegal disposal of hazardous waste and discharging a pollutant into the waters of the commonwealth.

Agostini continued the charges without a finding for two years on the condition that Robert pay restitution to the city of North Adams in the amount of $3,868 to compensate it for a environmental report required by the Department of Environmental Protection.

Robert, a North Adams Public Works employee, spilled approximately 20 gallons of diesel fuel at the Department of Public Works garage in North Adams on Oct. 15, 2012.

The investigation was conducted by investigators assigned to the Department of Environmental Protection. Mayor Richard Alcombright said Robert was suspended for a month but the longtime employee will be back to work.

Robert was apparently fueling up a machine when he went inside the office to log the gallons. When he came out, the pump had slipped from the machine and fuel was going into a nearby drain that goes into the river. Alcombright said the city was notified of a strong smell of fuel from Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

Robert tried to soak up the fuel with Speedi-Dri and booms were put in the river to contain the spill.

Updated on Nov. 14, 2013, with further information.

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Horse Killed in Pownal Crash

Staff Reports
POWNAL, Vt. — A horse was killed early Wednesday morning after being hit by two vehicles on Route 7 south of the Pownal View Barn. 
 
Trooper Robert Zink said police were dispatched at about 6 a.m. and found the dead horse in the road along with two vehicles. 
 
The drivers of the cars, Joseph Ciuk, 52, of Pownal, and Dieter Jaenecke, 62, of Bennington, were southbound on Route 7 when they came upon three horses loose on the highway. 
 
Neither was able to stop in time to avoid the animals. 
 
Jaenecke's 2012 Subaru Impreza struck the horse first; Ciuk, who was behind Jaenecke, tried to avoid it but the horse was struck again by his 2000 Dodge Dakota Truck.
 
Neither man was injured but Ciuk's truck incurred extensive front-end damage, totaling the vehicle. Jaenecke's Subaru was damaged on the front passenger side and roof. Both men were wearing seat belts.
 
U.S. Route 7 was reduced to one lane for approximately 30 minutes while the vehicles and horse were removed from the roadway. State Police were assisted by the Pownal Constable during this crash investigation.
 
Police did not include in the report who owned the horses or how they came to be loose. 
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DA: Dalton Women's Death 'Not Suspicious'

Staff Reports

DALTON, Mass. — The District Attorney's office has confirmed that the body found behind the American Legion was Theresa Burke, who had gone missing since early Sunday morning, and that there is nothing suspicious with the death.

"The investigation has revealed there is nothing suspicious with the death," Spokesman Fred Lantz said on Tuesday.


Theresa Burke has been missing since early Sunday morning.

 

DALTON, Mass. — A body found near the American Legion on Monday morning is believed to be that of Theresa Burke, missing since early Sunday morning.

The young Dalton woman was last seen about 3 a.m. Sunday. The body was found in a wooded area near 258 North St.

Burke had attended a show at Chameleon's in Pittsfield on Saturday night that included a fundraiser for the Berkshire Band-Itz roller derby team of which she was a member.

Burke's family and friends began posting on Facebook that she was missing on Sunday and her mother, Catherine Burke, contacted police. They also searched the neighborhood and passed her picture and information to convenience stores and other places. She was believed to have her cell phone but did not respond to anyone.

According to Facebook posts, she was last seen in Dalton wearing gray yoga pants, black combat boots and a possibly a gray hooded sweat shirt, and that it would be unusual for her not to contact her mother.

Burke, who has a 5-year-old daughter, Madison, would have been 24 on Thanksgiving Day, according to her Facebook page. She was described as a loving mother and daughter, a cheerful person and a good friend.

Her timeline was filled with comments on Sunday pleading with her to call someone, anyone; by mid-morning on Monday, it was filled with condolences and prayers.

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