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Second Victim in Great Barrington Fire Dies

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Monday's structure fire in Great Barrington has claimed a second victim. 

Susan Romano, 67, died at Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center on Tuesday night. Her husband, Michael Romano, died Monday night. 
 
"On behalf of the town of Great Barrington, I offer our heartfelt condolences to their family. Every fire death is tragic, but the loss cuts deeper during the holidays," Great Barrington Fire Chief Charles Burger said.
 
The couple were pulled from their 24 Silver St. home by firefighters on at about 7:40 p.m. on Monday night. Both were unresponsive and Michael Romano died shortly after at Fairview Hospital. 
 
The fire was contained to the Romano's unit in the eight-apartment building. The blaze is under investigation but the early focus has been on an accidental cause, according to authorities. 
 

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Original post: Dec. 10, 2019, at 11:52 a.m.

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — One man has died and a woman is in critical condition after a fire Monday evening at the Beech Tree Commons apartment complex.

The Berkshire District attorney's office has identified the deceased as Michael Romano, 68. As of Tuesday, Susan Romano, 67, remains hospitalized at Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center as a result of injuries sustained in the blaze.

The Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire with possible entrapment at 24 Silver St. at approximately 7:40 p.m. Monday. Fire units found fire venting from a rear apartment of an eight-unit apartment building.

A primary search was initiated along with fire attack, officials said in a news release. Two unresponsive occupants were located and rescued within minutes. Southern Berkshire Ambulance provided medical care and transported both patients to Fairview Hospital, where Michael Romano was pronounced dead. 

The fire was quickly knocked down and contained to one unit. Utilities were shut off to the building, forcing the occupants to seek alternative housing for the evening. Accommodations at local hotels were provided by the Beech Tree Commons management.

A second alarm was initially requested dispatching Monterey, Egremont, Stockbridge and Sheffield fire departments but canceled when the fire was brought under control. Great Barrington Fire received assistance on scene from Great Barrington Police, Southern Berkshire Ambulance and the Fire Department Support Group. Lenox Fire provided a RIT team and Sheffield Fire provided station coverage.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Investigators do not believe the cause of the fire is suspicious at this time but the investigation remains ongoing. The Office of the State Fire Marshal, Great Barrington Fire and Police, and Massachusetts State Police are investigating.

     

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