Retired Pittsfield Firefighter Saves Two Dogs From Burning Home
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When retired firefighter Matthew Kudlate returned to his New Hampshire Avenue home Monday afternoon, he noticed black smoke billowing from his neighbor's house. That's when his instincts kicked in.
"I was just out for a drive, I pulled up to the house and there was heavy black smoke pouring out of the eaves. I called the Fire Department. I went into the back door, I know the neighbors and wanted to make sure they were out of there. I knew they had two dogs and I was able to get them out of the back door," Kudlate said.
Kudlate knew one of his neighbors was disabled and could struggle to get out in the case of a fire. He did a quick search and found nobody inside.
He then chased after a poodle, which was running around the house, and a golden retriever, which didn't want to move. He pulled each out of them from the home.
"They fought me every step of the way. One was a bit larger, the other was fast and running around," Kudlate said. "They were scared, of course, and were nipping at me on the way out."
As he pulled the last one out, the Fire Department arrived at the scene.
"They got in quick, pulled a line, and saved a good portion of the home," said Fire Captain Neil Myers. "It was a pretty textbook save."
Firefighters confined the fire to the second floor of the home of the family with two children. It isn't known what caused the blaze yet, but the department was able to limit the damage.
Myers said there is heavy smoke damage on the second floor, mostly confined to the front bedroom where it began. There is also some heat and smoke damage to rooms in the back portion of the second floor. The first floor sustained water damage. Myers credited the firefighters on scene for knocking the fire down quickly, limiting the amount of damage.
Nobody was injured in the blaze, nor were there any animals harmed. Part of the reason for that is because of Kudlate.
"It was an instinct. I was a Pittsfield firefighter for 10 years. I had to retire because of an injury. It was just instinctual to make sure everybody was out of the house," Kudlate said.
Identity of Body Found Saturday in Pittsfield Released
|Police vehicles blocked a waste container on 771 Tyler and evidence was being collected on Saturday.|
Updated with new information at 7:12 p.m.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The body of a 22-year-old Pittsfield man was discovered in a trash roll-off behind a Tyler Street business late Saturday afternoon, according to the Berkshire district attorney's office.
Investigators believe that Louis E. Ely, of Briggs Avenue, climbed into the climbed into the container. Foul play is not suspected in his death.
The discovery a body had been rumored and there was a heavy police presence at a parking lot at 771 Tyler St. on Saturday. Police, at the time, declined to confirm or deny the discovery.
Police crime scene tape was stretched in front of the waste container at the end of a parking lot adjacent 771 Tyler on late Saturday afternoon. Several Pittsfield Police vehicles were at the scene and one investigator in a white coverall was collecting evidence.
An autopsy was conducted today by Associate Medical Examiner Dr. Robert Welton at the Holyoke Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The determination of the cause and manner of death are pending further toxicological and other testing.
The investigation is being conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department.
Former Pittsfield Officer Sentenced for Stealing From Police Union
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A former Pittsfield Police officer sentenced on Monday afternoon after pleading guilty to stealing more than $200,000 the Pittsfield Patrol Police Union.
Jeffrey D. Coco, 44, former union president, will serve up to 20 months in the House of Correction.
Coco was fired in November 2015 after some two months on administrative leave after an internal affairs investigation uncovered numerous improprieties with the union's accounts and fundraisers.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of larceny, ongoing and continuing offense, and a single count of identity theft in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday.
Judge John Agostini sentenced him to concurrent 20-month sentences for the larcenies and three years' probation on the identity theft. During the probationary period, Coco is to refrain from using illegal drugs and undergo counseling and drug testing. He will begin serving his sentence on April 3, 2017.
Coco serving in various offices, including treasurer, of the union between January 2008 and July 2015. During that time, he generated a false document requesting access to certain funds.
The investigation was conducted State Police Detectives assigned to the district attorney's office with the assistance of members of the Pittsfield Police Department.
Taconic High Student Arrested After Handgun Found in Backpack
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Taconic High School student is facing a raft of charges after allegedly shooting a man in the hand on Monday.
The student left school grounds without permission at noontime and later was arrested by police at the high school after being found with a handgun in his possession.
School officials released a statement to parents saying the unidentified juvenile was involved in a gun-related incident off-campus and that a search found a handgun in his backpack.
According to police, dispatch received a call reporting a disturbance at a residence on Danforth Avenue and a second call reported reported gunfire. Responding units encountered an adult man with a gunshot wound to his hand.
The suspect was believed to be the student and an officer stationed at Taconic confirmed that the student had been present at school earlier in the day, before leaving without authorization. While law enforcement investigators were working with school staff, the student returned the school and was taken into custody.
The juvenile is facing charges of possession of a firearm without a Firearms Identification Card; possession of ammunition without an FID; discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a building; assault & battery with a dangerous weapon (to wit handgun); armed robbery (firearm); carrying a firearm on school grounds; and attempted escape from a municipal lockup.
He will be arraigned Tuesday, March 21, in Central Berkshire Juvenile Court.
The school district sent the following message to parents Monday afternoon.
"During second lunch today, a Taconic High School student left school grounds and allegedly was involved in a gun altercation with a member of the community. The student returned to school approximately 30 minutes later. The Pittsfield Police Department informed us of this incident including the name of student who may be in possession of a weapon.
"A short time later we conducted our hold passing and the student was placed in custody by the Pittsfield Police. While in custody a handgun was found in the student's backpack. The student was immediately removed from the school. I would like to thank the Pittsfield Police Department and the members of the community as well as our faculty and staff who acted swiftly with the best interests and safety of our students in mind."
The name and age of the juvenile was not released.
6:58 p.m.; Write-thru with update from Pittsfield Police Department.
Pittsfield Police Seeking Man Considered 'Armed and Dangerous'
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are looking to arrest a 25-year-old man for assault following an incident early Saturday morning.
Police released few details of the incident but said they are looking for Garrett Vil, also known as Garrett Johnson and Jersey, regarding the incident. Vil is believed to be armed and dangerous and anyone with information about him is asked to immediately call 911 or the Police Department at 413-448-9700.
Vil is wanted on a number of charges and police say they have a warrant for his arrest. He is described as standing 5-feet-6 and weighing 200 pounds.
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