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Pittsfield Fire Department Contains Weekend Blazes


Pittsfield firefighters douse a blaze on Plunkett Street on Sunday.
PITTISFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters were able to save two structures from significant damage over the weekend.
 
The first occurred on Saturday morning in a two-unit apartment building at 126 Union St. that the Fire Department said was caused by "careless disposal of smoking materials."
 
Three engines and the ladder truck responded at 9:17 a.m. to reports of smoke detectors going off in one of the apartments in the two-story, wood-frame building.
 
"Upon arrival we found smoke showing from a first-floor window," Deputy Chief Daniel Garner reported. Engine 5 secured the water supply while Engine 2 searched the building. 
 
The fire was contained to a first-floor bedroom. No one was injured but damage was estimated at $5,000. The occupants of the apartment were provided with temporary accommodations by the Red Cross but residents in the other apartment were allowed to return to their home. 
 
The second fire occurred Sunday evening at 6:33 p.m. at 42 Plunkett St. The fire was in the rear of the three-story building. 
 
"Upon arrival we found fire on the rear third-floor deck and extending up along siding and under the deck roof," said Deputy Chief Neil Myers.
 
The top apartment suffered fire and water damage in the rear and minor smoke damage throughout. Myers estimated damage at $5,000. 
 
All the occupants were able to get out of the building and no one was injured, including a cat and dog that were in the apartment's front bedroom. 
 
The cause of the fire is still under investigation but all the occupants were able to return to their homes. 
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Pittsfield Police Investigating Shooting That Injured Man

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are seeking information about a shooting on Friday night that injured a city man. 
 
Police were alerted by ShotSpotter that "numerous rounds" were being fired in the 300 Block on Fenn Street at about 10:40 p.m. The alert was followed by multiple 911 calls from citizens.
 
Officers responded to the area and discovered numerous shell casings. In addition to the shell casings, officers discovered that a parked vehicle and a nearby residence were struck by bullets.
 
As officers continued their on-scene investigation, Berkshire Medical Center
notified dispatch that a gunshot victim was in the Emergency Department. Officers responded to the hospital and interviewed a 33-year-old Pittsfield resident who had been shot in the foot. 
 
The circumstances surrounding the shooting are being investigated by the Pittsfield Police Detective Unit. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Lt. Michael Maddalena at 413-448-9705, Ext. 574.
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Kitchen Fire Forces 18 to Evacuate North Adams Building

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — An early morning fire forced the evacuation of about 18 people from a boarding house on Union Street. 
 
The fire started in a back common kitchen on the top floor about 2 a.m. and spread up through a vent. It took almost two hours to ensure it was it completely out.
 
Fire Chief Stephen Meranti said the department was familiar with the building and has responded to burnt food in the past. 
 
"This time it extend up into the exhaust fan got up into the area above the ceiling, it followed the ductwork," he said. "It was burning on top of the stove — that set the sprinklers off — but it was also burning above the ceiling."
 
Some occupants of the building at 174-178 Union St. were coming out as firefighters were going in and they assisted the rest in exiting the building. More than a dozen people, some wrapped in blankets passed out by Northern Berkshire EMS, watched firefighters tackled the stubborn blaze. 
 
Smoke was coming out of the top of the 1910 three-story building when first-responders arrived on the scene. It billowed out of the open porch in the back connecting the structure to 8 Rand St. and out the front eaves.
 
An all call was sent out to bring in all three shifts. Northern Berkshire EMS and Wire & Alarm also responded along with Berkshire Gas and National Grid.
 
"The guys did a great job knocking it down in real, real smoky conditions," Meranti said. "The did a really good job." 
 
The structure suffered significant smoke and water damage as well as some structural damage. Meranti thought the entire upper floor would have to be gutted. 
 
"Right now we're trying to save the utilities because that building in the back is fed from this building in the front," he said. "The owner has contractors here for gas and electricity. They're trying to salvage the utilities over here to keep that building (8 Rand) up and running."
 
The electrical and sprinkler lines run through both buildings so have to be capped or shunted so the Rand Street building would not have to be closed. It also has about 20 rooms with common areas. 
 
Those who had to evacuate were taken by Northern Berkshire Transport to First Baptist Church where the Rev. David Anderson was working to get them a place stay for the night. 
 
Both buildings are owned by Union Rand Nominee Trust, part of the Ransford Properties portfolio. 
 
The structure is also the home of the popular Linda's Cafe, which had closed earlier in the week because of the emergency orders related to the novel coronavirus.. 

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Dalton Woman Charged With Hit-and-Run in Great Barrington

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A Dalton woman was charged with motor vehicle offenses after striking a person walking on the side of the road on Vandeusenville Road on Tuesday morning and leaving the scene, according to Great Barrington Police.
 
Police received a report at 10:45 a.m.  that a woman on the side of the road by Bridget's Cemetery that had been struck by a car. Officers Jonathan Finnerty and Samuel Stolzar responded. 
 
They found a 64-year-old woman from Christian Hill Road badly injured. She was transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield by Southern Berkshire Ambulance. Great Barrington Fire Department assisted at the scene. Several car parts were also recovered there.
 
A short time later, Finnerty observed a vehicle matching the description of the wanted car at the Lipton Mart on Stockbridge Road. After an investigation, the driver admitted to striking something but thought it was the guardrail. 
 
Jamie L. Cartwrightjoyner, 36, has been charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident; negligent operation of a motor vehicle; and failure to stay within marked lanes. She will be summonsed to court. 
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North Adams First Responders Extricate Injured Girl From Ravine

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — First responders rescued a teenager who fell and apparently broke her ankle or leg in the ravine behind Brayton Hill Apartments. 
 
The initial call came in shortly after 4 p.m. on Wednesday of a girl who had fallen on the slope behind the apartment complex and could not be reached. The police, firefighters and ambulance personnel responded to the scene and shift Delta was called in to cover the fire station while two trucks were out. 
 
Fire Lt. Michael Sherman said there were muddy and wet conditions on the banking down toward the river. Because of the conditions, the first-responders used a litter basket and line to reach the girl and bring her up the banking. 
 
She had reportedly been about 50 yards down the hill and near the Hoosic River. 
 
Sherman could only confirm an injury to her leg but that she was alert and responsive; scanner reports indicated a possible break or fracture. 
 
She was taken by Northern Berkshire EMS to the satellite emergency facility for treatment. 
 
Sherman said the Fire Department trains regularly on these kinds of rescue extractions and that the rescue litter was the safest way for the girl and for the first responders. 
 
"Our mule that we've used multiple times does a phenomenal job and we were able to bring her up safely from below," he said, adding that some of them firefighters are trained in technical rescue. "This falls right into our training. So it just works out well. It's nice when you can actually use something that you're trained for."
 
The lieutenant complimented the teamwork of the firefighters and other first responders who assisted in the rescue. 
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