Dalton Woman Charged With Hit-and-Run in Great Barrington
Dalton Woman Injured After Being Trapped in Burning House
DALTON, Mass. — A local woman was injured after being trapped on the second floor of a burning home early Sunday evening.
Firefighters were able to extricate her and she was taken to Berkshire Medical Center. Fire Chief Gerald J. Cahalan Jr. said she was transferred to another facility from there but did not know where.
Her condition was unknown, other than she was alive; her name has not been released.
Cahalan said he was first on the scene at 62 Jennings Ave. and attempted to enter the front door but was forced back by heavy flames in the stairwell.
"I was notified by a neighbor that there maybe somebody possibly trapped in the house," he said late Sunday night. A member of the family that owns the house tried to access the back door but Cahalan stopped him.
"I figured once you opened the back door you were going to get a flash," he said.
The two-alarm fire was reported at about 7:12 p.m. at the 2 1/2 story home. Cahalan said firefighters responded quickly and knocked down the fire but it flared up again about 20 minutes later.
Smoke and flames could be seen coming from the second story at that point. Firefighters were attacking the blaze with ladders and hoses.
They first focused on extinguishing the fire and the stairwell and search for the victim. She was taken through a second story window and placed in an ambulance. One firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation after the rescue.
The victim was the only one in the house at the time.
The second alarm automatically called in mutual aid from Hinsdale and Windsor, the chief said. Hinsdale brings its rehab trailer and Lanesborough was called in to cover the station; a third alarm brings in Pittsfield.
Cahalan said the cause of the fire is under investigation. State police and representatives from the state fire marshal's office were still at the scene at midnight.
Cahalan thought the single-family home was salvageable.
"The response was great, the crews did a great job," he said. "Obviously, the house is standing."
DA: Dalton Women's Death 'Not Suspicious'
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.
Simultaneous Fires Investigated in Dalton
Above: The home on Greenridge was significantly damaged.
Below: A garage on Evelyn was also damaged.
According to Fire Chief Gerald Cahalan, the department responded to a structure fire at 73 Greenridge Drive at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. In transit, firefighters spotted another blaze at 36 Evelyn St. The homes are less than a block away from each other.
He had expected to have a clearer idea of which way the investigation would go later in the day.
Departments from Hinsdale, Pittsfield, Lanesborough and Windsor were called in. The fire on Greenridge caused "significant" damage — leaving a woman, who was not home at the time, homeless. A neighboring house at 67 Greenridge Drive was also damaged by the flames.
The Evelyn Street fire was knocked down quickly and damage was confined to the garage. The family of four living at the Evelyn address were able to return to their home.
"My units did a great job knocking down both fires quickly," Cahalan said.
The majority of the firefighters left the scene at about 4:45 a.m. Sunday but an engine stayed on fire watch until about 9 a.m.
"The fire on Greenridge [moved] quick," Cahalan said. "We don't know what time the other one started. We can't figure out what started first."
Both fires appear to have been started in homes' garages. The causes are being investigated by Dalton Police, the state police arson unit and the Fire Department. Cahalan said he could not confirm the causes at this time.
Neighbors on the scene Sunday afternoon said there was a rash of fires in the same area just three years ago.
Correction: The fire chief's name was given incorrectly in this story and has been changed. iBerkshires regrets the error.
No Charges For Officer Who Shot Dalton Man
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The police officer that shot a Dalton man in November will not face criminal charges.
Pittsfield Police Officer Christopher Colello shot 36-year-old Michael Barry three times in the woods behind his Washington Mountain Road home in Dalton on Nov. 3.
District Attorney David F.Capeless announced Tuesday that an investigation was completed and that none of the officers involved will face criminal charges.
The investigation was conducted by Massachusetts State Police Lieutenant Brian Foley, a member of the investigative unit assigned to the district attorney’s office and the commanding officer on the Berkshire County Drug Task Force.
Barry is still facing charges of single counts of attempted murder, attempted arson, aggravated assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and vandalizing property as well as two counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon. Barry had threatened to kill himself and others, police said.
On Nov. 5 he had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on those charges.
According to the district attorney's office, Barry was shot by Colello when he jumped up and made a movement that caused the officers to fear he was drawing a weapon in the woods behind the home shortly after 1 a.m. He was hospitalized and underwent surgery at Berkshire Medical Center.
A press release from the district attorney's office at the time states the incident occurred when Dalton Police responded to 104 Washington Mountain Road shortly after midnight because of reports of a drunken man pouring gasoline over the garage.
When Officer Deanna Strout arrived on the scene she encountered Barry, who then ran into the woods behind the residence.
Additional officers from Dalton and the Pittsfield Police Department, including a K-9 Unit, were dispatched to assist in the search for him. Colello was assisting on mutual aid, according to Capeless
Witnesses at the residence reportedly told police that Barry had been at a Dalton bar late Tuesday night and, after arriving home intoxicated, began smashing and throwing items and saying he wanted to die. He poured gasoline on himself and in the garage and threatened to start a fire and kill himself and others, witnesses told police.
Barry was located in the woods shortly after 1 a.m. by Colello and Pittsfield K-9 Officer James Losaw when the shooting occurred.
Capeless did not comment on the status of the charges against Barry.