Home About Archives RSS Feed

Fire Displaces Four Pittsfield Families

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

The flames poked through the roof of the building but Engine 5's crew controlled the blaze.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Four families are displaced after a fire caused significant damage to a Cherry Street apartment building.

But quick work and awareness from the firefighters ultimately saved the building. 

Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Noyes said firefighters were dispatched to 2-4 Cherry Street at about 6:30 Wednesday night for the reported fire and almost immediately after arriving, it was reported that the fire was out.
That wasn't the case.
"Upon arrival, we were advised that it was out. Engine 3 was the first crew in, Capt. Miller had his thermal imaging camera and noticed it was already going in the walls. He called for a line right away, we got a line up to him, they started hitting it from there," Noyes said. 
The occupants escaped the building and nobody was hurt. But the flames climbed up the walls, into the attic, and eventually popped through the roof. As Engine 3 worked on the walls on the second-floor apartment, a second engine was called to the scene.
"We immediately sent the second crew to come here into the attic, which is Engine 5's crew. It extended into the attic already and started breaking through the roof. They were able to keep it in check there," Noyes said.
In cold and blustering conditions, Noyes was near the point of calling in a second alarm to bring more firefighters to the scene but those working in the attic were able to get control of the blaze quickly. A total of three engines and 12 firefighters worked the scene.
"It was just a great stop by the crew. Everybody did their job like they were supposed to and worked like a well-oiled machine tonight," Noyes said.
The Red Cross was called to the scene to help the 10 individuals who will not be able to stay in the building tonight. A cat was reported missing but Noyes thinks that it likely got out through the open back door firefighters had used to access the building.
"There is quite a lot of damage to the roof but this is not a total loss by any means but there is going to be some serious work that needs to be done. There is water damage, smoke damage, so it is going to be a lot before anybody can go back in there," Noyes said.
Noyes said the fire had begun on the second floor, at 4 Cherry, in about the middle of the large multi-family building. It isn't yet known what caused the blaze but investigators were called to the scene. The deputy chief expects some answers on Thursday. 
The home is at the end of a dead end and that section was closed by the Police Department as the firefighters worked on the scene for more than an hour. The building is listed as being owned by Gary and Claudine Burchard, according to documents on file with the Register of Deeds.

Pittsfield Police Warns of Phone Scam

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are warning residents of a phone scam.
The department received a complaint on Monday that woman received a call asking for donations on behalf of the department. The caller asked the woman for her credit card information. Police, however, say that neither the Pittsfield Police Officers Union Local 447 nor the Pittsfield Police Supervisors Union Local 447S is currently running a fundraiser.
The woman did not give her credit card information and Police urge others to do the same. 
"As always, we urge residents to err on the side of caution if you are unsure of any calls you may receive asking for personal information such as credit card numbers, birthdays, or social security information," Police said in a statement. 
Police added that the company which conducts union fundraisers never asks for credit card information and if anybody is in any doubt they can contact the department directly with questions. 

Berkshires Impacted By Sporadic 911 Outage

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The 911 system has been sporadically out of commission statewide on Friday and affecting most of Berkshire County.
The Massachusetts State Police released a statement shortly before 7 a.m. encouraging residents to call their local public safety departments directly instead of using the emergency reporting system. The issue was affecting both cellular and landline service.
"A nationwide outage affecting CenturyLink, an internet communications company, is impacting wireless 911 call capability in various parts of the country," reads the statement from state police.
Shortly after 1:30, MSP released an update saying the issue had not been resolved and encouraged residents to contact the local agency needed.
"You may hear a fast busy signal, hear a recording saying 'all circuits are busy' or something similar, or you may get connected to a different emergency call center than you were expecting," state police said.
"While you should always try to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency, if the call will not go through because of this outage, you should make a second call to the 10-digit emergency number of your local police/fire department. These numbers are available on the Internet and available through Directory Assistance. Remember, it is important that you give your exact location to the dispatcher as it may not automatically display for the dispatcher."
CenturyLink released a statement saying full restoration has not been resolved and multiple dispatch municipalities reported sporadic outages. 
The Berkshire County Sheriff's Office, which serves the dispatch center for 26 towns, told residents to call 911 but "if you are still having issues calling 911 please call your local police department."
Cell phones buzzed throughout the county about noon with notifications about the problem from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and a second alert was sent at 1:36 p.m.
Pittsfield shortly afterward released a statement saying the outage has no impact on its system and residents there should continue calling 911.
North Adams, the next largest community that also runs its own dispatch center, has been affected.
"In any case where there is a need for 911 services and your call does not work or go through, please hang up and dial (413) 663-3313 which will be routed directly into our 911 Call Center," North Adams Police wrote on its Facebook page.
CenturyLink released a statement saying it will continue to provide updates throughout the day as it works to resolve the problems.
State police said if one cannot find the local number to call 508-872-2508 and tell the dispatcher the exact location of the emergency, including city or town, and they will connect to the correct department.

Pittsfield Police: Multi-agency Operations Lead To 32 Arrests

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A series of four police operations have led to some 32 arrests over the last three weeks.
The operations consisted of highly visible patrols in areas identified as higher crime areas in the Morningside and Westside neighborhoods. Police say the series of operations were done both in response to recent violent crimes in the city and the anticipation of dangerous driving behavior during the holidays.
The first three operations were performed by the city's Police Department with help from the Berkshire County sheriff's office and the state police. The final operation was on Friday and involved the Police Department, the sheriff's office, state police, District Court Probation Office, and the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. 
Police conducted strong traffic enforcement while at the same time serving a number of arrest warrants. Probation checks, efforts to seek out 10 individuals in violation of sex-offender registration status, efforts to verify addresses of other sex offenders, and inspections of licensed establishments with a recent record of capacity or over-serving complaints were all conducted at the same time.
Authorities say Saturday's "One Team One Mission" led to 14 arrests, including two for operating under the influence of alcohol and one out-of-state sex offender registration violation. Police say 340 grams of cocaine estimated to be worth $34,000 and numerous illegal pills were seized. In total there were 171 citations issued for moving violations.
Combined, all four operations led to 32 arrests, six criminal summonses, 428 traffic stops, 14 criminal motor vehicle summonses, 253 motor vehicle citations, and 145 verbal warnings issued. The previous three operations were performed on Friday, Nov. 16; Tuesday, Nov. 20; and Wednesday, Nov. 28.
Police say it is the largest operation conducted in the city since 2016.
The department said the traffic enforcement operations are based on the principles of "Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety." The local crime analysts looked at calls for services and crime data from throughout 2018 to identify locations and time for deployment of the operations. 

Superior Court Briefs: Nov. 6 - Nov. 15

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Anthony Deordio, 43, of North Adams had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of rape and abuse of a child.
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 bail. The incident allegedly occurred in North Adams on Nov. 1, 2017, and involved an 8-year-old girl.
Richard Dixon, 34, of Pittsfield had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of child pornography, and dissemination of visual material of a child in a state of nudity.
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 bail. He is accused of being in possession of child pornography in Pittsfield between Aug. 23, 2018, and Sept. 14, 2018. He is also accused of distributing pornography on August 26, 2018.
Davon Kelly, 39, of Pittsfield had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, and armed career felon in connection with an incident in Pittsfield on Aug. 19, 2018, and involved a 27-year-old man.
He also had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a loaded handgun, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, possession of heroin, and armed career felon.
Those charges stem from an incident in Pittsfield on Aug. 30, 2018. 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail.
Kurt Vosburgh, 54, of Stamford, Vt., had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of distribution of heroin and possession of heroin, second offense.
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from an incident in North Adams on Oct. 5, 2018. 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, Nov. 7.
Shane Smith, 34, of Pittsfield, had a not-guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of providing misleading information to a police officer.
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $3,000 bail. Smith is accused of misleading officers during the investigation into the death of 34-year-old William Catalano.
Peter Campbell, 22, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to two counts of armed assault with intent to rob and a single count of manslaughter.
He was ordered to serve 4 1/2 to six years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. Campbell was part of a joint venture to rob 29-year-old Anthony Gamache and during the robbery, Gamache was shot by Campbell's accomplice and later died.
Campbell also pleaded guilty to a single count of intimidation of a witness. He was ordered to serve two to 2 1/2 years in state prison on that charge. Campbell admitted to intimidating a witness in a criminal matter between Oct. 16, 2015, and Nov. 2, 2015.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Nov. 13.
Marchenne Hanson, 40, of Pittsfield had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of armed assault with intent to rob, assault and battery by discharging a firearm, illegal possession of a firearm, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building.
He was released on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from an incident on Elm Street in Pittsfield on June 8, 2018.
Joseph Pini, 41, of North Adams pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
He was ordered to serve two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charge relates to a search warrant at his home on August 9, 2017.
Jason Sefton, 20, of Pittsfield entered a not-guilty plea on a single count of murder.
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. Sefton is accused of stabbing and beating 34-year-old William Catalano in Pittsfield on Oct. 15, 2018.
Anthony Boone, 22, of Pittsfield entered a not-guilty plea on a single count of murder.
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. Sefton is accused of stabbing and beating 34-year-old William Catalano in Pittsfield on Oct. 15, 2018.
Bruce Romano, 28, of Pittsfield entered a not-guilty plea on a single count of murder. 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. Romano is accused of stabbing and beating 34-year-old William Catalano in Pittsfield on Oct. 15, 2018.
Joseph Stone, 40, of Pittsfield was found not guilty of a single count of assault with intent to commit rape. 
The jury found him not guilty after two hours of deliberation regarding an incident allegedly involving a woman who is now 43 in Pittsfield on Oct. 23, 2016.
Alexis Gkoles, 36, of Great Barrington had a not-guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of rape.
He was released on personal recognizance. He is accused of sexually assaulting a 36-year-old woman in Great Barrington on Dec. 3, 2017.
Frederick Murnane, 29, of Sheffield had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of cruelty to animals and a single count of burning a dwelling house.
He was released on personal recognizance. Murnane is accused of setting fire to a home he owned in Becket on Aug. 28, 2018, and two cats inside died as a result.
Page 11 of 62... 6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16 ... 62  

Support Local News

We show up at hurricanes, budget meetings, high school games, accidents, fires and community events. We show up at celebrations and tragedies and everything in between. We show up so our readers can learn about pivotal events that affect their communities and their lives.

How important is local news to you? You can support independent, unbiased journalism and help iBerkshires grow for as a little as the cost of a cup of coffee a week.

News Headlines
Mount Greylock Superintendent Grady Steps Down
Southwestern Vermont Health Care Launches Virtual Urgent Care
The Berkshire Museum Will Reopen Saturday, Aug. 1
Mount Greylock School Committee Appears Poised to Part Ways with Another Superintendent
Neal Announces CARES Act Grants for Cultural Organizations
Tropical Storm Bringing Heavy Rain to Berkshires
Drive Walk Bike by Art Show Friday In Pittsfield
Williamstown to Try Outdoor Dining on Spring Street Again Saturday
Clarksburg Sets Special Town Meeting for PILOT Authorization
Cultural Pittsfield This Week: July 10-16

Police Logs

Pittsfield Police

North Adams

Crimewatch Links

North Adams CrimeWatch

Stamford/Clarksburg CrimeWatch

Pittsfield CrimeWatch

Emergency: 911
Adams 413-743-1212
Clarksburg 413-663-7795
Cheshire 413-743-1501
Dalton 413-684-0300
Great Barrington 413-528-0306
Lanesborough 413-443-4107
Lee 413-243-2100
Lenox 413-637-2346
North Adams 413-664-4944
Pittsfield 413-448-9700
Richmond 413-698-3315
Stockbridge 413-298-4179
Williamstown 413-458-5733
West Stockbridge 413-232-7938
State Police  
Cheshire Barracks
Lee Barracks 413-243-0600
Shaftsbury, Vt., Barracks 802-442-3263


Adams (92)
Alford (0)
Becket (8)
Cheshire (23)
Clarksburg (41)
Dalton (6)
Egremont (2)
Florida (9)
Great Barrington (34)
Hancock (5)
Hinsdale (5)
Lanesborough (31)
Lee (14)
Lenox (11)
Monterey (0)
Mount Washington (1)
New Ashford (5)
New Marlborough (2)
North Adams (242)
Otis (2)
Peru (3)
Pittsfield (317)
Pownal (16)
Readsboro (17)
Richmond (10)
Sandisfield (5)
Savoy (5)
Sheffield (5)
Stamford (31)
State (1)
Stockbridge (6)
Tyringham (1)
Washington (1)
West Stockbridge (1)
Williamstown (80)
Windsor (3)
July 2020 (1)
July 2019 (13)
June 2020 (5)
May 2020 (8)
April 2020 (3)
March 2020 (6)
February 2020 (7)
January 2020 (7)
December 2019 (13)
November 2019 (3)
October 2019 (9)
September 2019 (6)
August 2019 (13)
Pedestrians Murder Shooting Fire Veremko Larceny Assaults Fraud Search Motor Vehicle Injuries Break-ins Armed Robbery Crime Watch Heroin Fatal Firearms Police Investigation Mvi Burglary Drug Charges Stabbing Robbery Vehicle Motorcycles Homicide Motor Vehicle Accident Rape Assault Missing Persons Structure Fire Accident Hit & Run Search & Rescue Drugs
Popular Entries:
Great Barrington Crashes Leave Two Dead
North Adams Woman Killed in Route 2 Crash
Man Killed by Bull in Clarksburg
Clarksburg Talks Burglary
Clarksburg Selectman Responds
North Adams Man Arraigned On Charges Of Animal Cruelty; Pleads Not Guilty
North Adams Man Crashes SUV Into Home
Kincaid Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Rape
Fatal Accident Closes Route 8 in Adams
Drug Ring King Sentenced to Cedar Junction
Recent Entries:
Pittsfield Woman Dies After Structure Fire
Silver Lake Fatality Identified as Pittsfield Man
Pittsfield Jogger Struck by SUV, Taken to Baystate
Two Area Residents Being Charged in Alleged Fraud Ring
Pittsfield Police Make Arrest in Friday Shooting
No One Injured in Williamstown Barn Fire
Pittsfield Police Seeking Information on BHS Burglars
Pittsfield Police Investigating 2 Shooting Incidents
Adams Police Charging Man in Underage Drinking Party
Great Barrington Traffic Stop Uncovers 748 Bags of Heroin