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Southfield Fire Destroys One Building, Damages Second

Staff Reports
NEW MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — An early morning fire Friday in Southfield damaged one building and destroyed another on Norfolk Road. 
 
The 1800s-era single-family home at 155 Norfolk Road was destroyed and the neighboring former Baptist Church damaged. It took several hours for firefighters to contain the blaze. The fires occurred not far from the New Marlborough Fire Station. 
 
"The house was fully involved and beyond saving," Fire Chief Charles Loring III told ABC's News10. "So we concentrated on the church, the church turned into a home. We concentrated on that and were able to save it."
 
The call came in around 3 a.m. and at least eight area fire companies arrived at the scene. No one was reported injured. 
 
Video courtesy of David Edelman. 
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New York Man Arraigned In Pittsfield Murder Case

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Bronx, N.Y. man was arraigned on charges of first-degree murder, carrying a firearm without a license, and carrying a loaded firearm.
 
Lance Burke, 40, is charged in the shooting and killing 30-year-old David Green Jr. on November 3, 2018. Burke allegedly shot Green in the neck while he sat in a pickup truck near Spring and Willow Streets in Pittsfield. Green died a few days later.
 
Burke is being held without bail. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, September 9. 
 
"Today's homicide arraignment is the result of a rigorous investigation by the Pittsfield Police Department and strong teamwork between law enforcement and prosecutors," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said. 
 
"My job is to seek justice for victims and their families. My office will continue to prosecute this case with competence and integrity."
 
A grand jury indicted Burke last week on the charges. Members of the Pittsfield Police Department Detective Bureau and Anti-Crime Unit, New York City Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Burke on a warrant in the Bronx on Nov. 20, 2018, following an thorough investigation that spanned two states by the Pittsfield Police Department, including Detective Jeff Arena, and State Police detectives assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office.
 
First Assistant District Attorney Karen Bell is assigned as the lead prosecutor in the case for the Berkshire District Attorney's Office.
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Five Dead in Sheffield Structure Fire

Staff Reports

Multiple fire departments responded to the single-family home on Home Road.
SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Authorities are investigating a Wednesday morning structure fire on Home Road that left five people dead. 
 
"This is an extensive operation and investigation with multiple local and state agencies," said Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington at a brief press conference around 2:30 p.m. at Town Hall. "It's going to take us some time before we can get you more information."
 
Harrington said the fire at 1343 Home Road was fully involved when responders arrived on scene and was knocked down at about 9:15 on Wednesday morning and determined extinguished an hour later. 
 
Preliminary search efforts uncovered "the presence of a deceased individual" and further recovery efforts found four more bodies, she said. The state fire marshal and the state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office are working with local officials on the investigation. 
 
Harrington declined to take any questions, asking for patience as the investigation was made and promising to provide information as it became available. 
 
The identities of the deceased have not been released. The property is listed in the Registry of Deeds as being owned by Luke E. Karpinski and Justine Wilbur. 
 
Home Road, a thinly settle country road that parallels Route 7, will be closed near the single-family house through Thursday because of the investigation. The location is roughly at the midpoint of the road within the Sheffield town border. 
 
According to @CTNewsAlert, a breaking news site covering northern Connecticut, mutual aid was called in about 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning, with North Fork, Conn., firefighters being called to the scene. A second alarm and more tankers from Litchfield County were responded minutes later. 
 
Volunteer fire companies from around the region responded to aid the Sheffield Fire Department: Great Barrington, New Marlborough, Richmond, Egremont and Monterey, and Connecticut companies of North Fork and Canaan. 
 
Beth Regulbuto, superintendent of schools for the Southern Berkshire Regional School District, apprised the school community by email on Wednesday night that the crisis team would be meeting on Thursday morning "to discuss the best ways possible to provide support during school tomorrow." She said the district would have more counselors on hand and that faculty and staff would be providing "developmentally appropriate messages."
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Driver Escapes Injury When SUV Collides With Tractor-Trailer

Staff Reports

State police responded to the accident.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — A car that collided with a tractor-trailer late Tuesday afternoon slowed traffic at the Hairpin Turn but no one was injured. 
 
The driver of a red Hyundai Tucson headed west apparently failed to make the turn and struck the trailer of a Holland Co. Peterbilt heading down the Mohawk Trail. The collision occurred right at the center of the tight turn and knocked the sport utility vehicle backward into the snow bank on the south side. The incident was reported at 3:51 p.m. 
 
The Hyundai suffered severe damage to its front end; there was debris in the road and the SUV's grille was off. The Peterbilt did not appear to have any significant damage. 
 
Neither the driver of the SUV nor the Peterbilt was injured and the SUV's driver was cited. 
 
Northern Berkshire EMS, the Clarksburg Fire Department and state police responded to the scene. Traffic was diverted around the SUV until it could be towed. 
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Adams Investigating Suspicious Fire That Destroyed Seasonal Home

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — Firefighters battled a suspicious structure fire on Gould Road on Saturday that resulted in a total loss of the building.
 
Assistant Fire Chief Tim Ziemba said the fie was already well underway when the department responded to 218 Gould Road around 4 p.m.
 
"It was about 50 percent involved when we got there and the remaining half of the house had flames within," he said. "Within 20 minutes it had pretty much gone through and collapsed ... it was a total loss and leveled right to the ground."
 
He said the building was a seasonal home and was vacant, however, this meant the driveway was not plowed making it more difficult to reach the structure. 
 
"The driveway was unplowed so we had to run, I am estimating, 1,000 feet through an unplowed driveway to get to the building," he said. "There was a considerable amount of time we couldn't drive to it."
 
Ziemba said water was also an issue and that without hydrants, the department had to utilize tankers.
 
"We had to use a tanker shuttle, which was set up another 500 feet below," Ziemba said. "They had a tanker shuttle set up. We pumped up about 500 feet up to another truck, which pumped up to the scene. So it took a whole lot to get that setup and get that rolling."
 
He said the cause of the fire is still under investigation but noted the blaze was suspicious. 
 
"It is suspicious and under investigation, I can't say anything further," he said. 
 
Firefighters remained on scene until about 10 p.m. on Saturday.
 
"The fire marshal was on scene and they conducted an investigation," he said. "We had to finish up hot spots after they were done ... it was labor-intensive and time-consuming."
 
The Adams Forest Wardens were also on scene as well as the Cheshire Fire department. Clarksburg firefighters covered the station.
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