No One Injured in Williamstown Barn Fire
The Williamstown Fire Department received a call from the residents of the home at 9:34 a.m. and had the blaze under control with the assistance of neighboring fire companies by 10:30, Assistant Chief Robert Briggs said.
"All the animals were out," Briggs said as work continued to extinguish hot spots in the smoldering remains of the structure. "The horses were out. The dog got out. The homeowner was in the barn when it happened.
"It was an accidental fire, so we're good with how it started and all that. We're just trying to clean it up."
The biggest issue in late morning was two 100-gallon propane tanks that were stored in the barn.
"What happens with a propane tank, when it's exposed to extreme heat is the vapor inside of it expands," Briggs said. "There are safety release valves built into propane tanks that will let the vapor go at a controlled rate compared to an explosion. An explosion, we'd have a big problem with a lot of propane at the same time."
Briggs said the propane company that services the tanks was en route to help firefighters safely remove them from the site. In the meantime, the firefighters continued to hose down the tanks to keep them cool.
After arriving on the second truck at the scene, Briggs said he was less than 1,000 feet from the blaze setting up a water draw from a nearby brook when the venting from the propane tanks began.
"That happened, and I knew what it was right away because I've heard it at other fires," he said.
The home's proximity to Hemlock Brook was a blessing.
"We're fortunate in that we were less than 1,000 feet from a really good water source that we trained on," Briggs said. "We had water on this fire as quick as we got here, and we had continuous water.
"When the fire is 90 percent involved when you get here, there's no stopping it. There's no turning it around. You just make sure that people got out safely and none of our people get hurt. We're doing a very good job with Northern Berkshire EMS here of rehab, making sure our people don't overdo it."
Fire companies from New Ashford, Lanesborough, Hancock, Clarksburg and Pownal, Vt., responded to the blaze.
"We really appreciate the support from our neighboring communities," Briggs said. "Every community sent good crews. We're happy for that. And that's what we have to do now because we're all so short-handed.
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Pittsfield Police Seeking Information on BHS Burglars
According to a press release:
Over one month ago, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, two individuals entered a property owned and operated by Berkshire Health Systems and stole a number of computers. The two men appeared to be comfortable in their setting and spent a considerable amount of time inside of the property.
They appeared to be knowledgeable about computers and were looking for specific items to take. Both suspects appeared to be thin or athletic white males, and they had a dog on a leash accompanying them during the burglary.
Suspect No. 1 appeared to have dark hair with a short beard and he wore eyeglasses. He was wearing a baseball cap, dark Nike sweat shirt, dark pants and sneakers. He had a dark backpack, possibly Northface brand.
Suspect No. 2 appeared to have lighter hair and was clean shaven. Early in the burglary he wore a bandana or something similar on his head and a dark Northface jacket. He later took off the head covering and jacket and was wearing a white T-shirt.
The dog appeared to be a smaller terrier with mostly black fur, thin (probably 40 pounds or less) with a tail that curved upward.
Anyone who may have information about this incident, or who believes they can identify the suspects, is asked to contact the Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705. Information can also be provided anonymously via the Detective Bureau Tip Line at 413-448-9706, or by texting PITTIP and your message to TIP411 (847411).
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Pittsfield Police Investigating 2 Shooting Incidents
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Police Department is investigating two shooting incidents that occurred in the city Sunday night and early Monday morning.
On Sunday 5/24/2020 at approximately 8:47pm,
Officers responded Sunday night at about 8:47 to Francis Avenue near the intersection of Bradford Street for a ShotSpotter activation. It was later discovered that a residence there had been struck by gunfire. No injuries were reported and the incident remains under investigation at this time.
Then at 12:49 a.m. Monday, there was a second ShotSpotter activation at the intersection of Second Street and Lincoln Street. Upon their arrival, officers observed an unoccupied vehicle that had been struck by gunfire. Shell casings were discovered nearby. No injuries were reported and the incident remains under investigation at this time.
Anyone who may have information about either incident is asked to contact the Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705. Information can also be provided anonymously via the tip line at 413-448-9706, or by texting PITTIP and your message to TIP411 (847411).
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Adams Police Charging Man in Underage Drinking Party
ADAMS, Mass. — Police have charged a registered sex offender with supplying drugs and alcohol to underage individuals as young as 13.
According to a press release on the Adams Police Department's Facebook page, officers the incident occurred Wednesday and the arrest made at the man's Park Street apartment, where he was hosting a party.
"[Wednesday] evening, patrol officers who were in the station observed a male party later determined to be a juvenile male stumbling down the middle of School Street in front of the police department," the post read. "A discussion with this male determined he was a juvenile and was heavily intoxicated and under the influence of other recreational street drugs."
Emergency medical services was called and the boy was taken to Berkshire Medical Center. Police said the boy was in and out of consciousness.
Officers found another impaired boy who had returned home. He, too, was taken to BMC.
"At this time, patrol officers, based on information provided during the investigation, had determined that there may be many other juveniles also in medical or physical danger. Based on the investigation conducted, the target location was determined to be an apartment on Park Street."
Officers said they discovered more than 10 individuals as young as 13 years old at the apartment who were under the influence of alcohol and drugs. They also discovered that the apartment's occupant was a registered sex offender.
Adams Ambulance Service was again called to the scene to conduct evaluations.
Parents were called to pick up their kids and more teens were transported to BMC for evaluation.
The man, whose name has not been released, will appear in Northern Berkshire District Court and may face additional charges as the investigation continues.
"This was quick work by patrol officers that ensured the greater safety of the children within our community," the post reads. "This type of behavior will not be tolerated in the Town of Adams that puts the lives and safety of our children at risk."
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Great Barrington Traffic Stop Uncovers 748 Bags of Heroin
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A traffic stop Tuesday morning on Main Street resulted in the arrest of a local man and the seizure of a large cache of drugs.
Officer Andres Huertas was on patrol when he noticed Ryan P. Babcock operating a vehicle operating on Main Street at about 10:30 a.m. He knew that Babcock's driver's license had been revoked.
Huertas stopped the vehicle in front of Town Hall; Officer James Bragdon assisted with the stop. Huertas advised
the 34-year-old Babcock that he was being placed under arrest.
During an inventory of the vehicle, Huertas discovered an "extremely large cache of narcotics." The car was impounded and taken to the police station, where a search warrant was obtained. Assisting Police Officers Christopher Peebles and Bradley Lupiani helped with the search, warrant process and the over-all arrest and investigation.
The inventory found 748 bags of heroin, several bags of cocaine, 18 bags of marijuana and several different prescription drugs. Babcock, of Park Street in Housatonic, was charged with the following:
- Possession of Class A with intent to distribute
- Possession of Class B with intent to distribute
- Possession of Class C
- Possession of Class D with intent to distribute
- Possession of Class E with intent to distribute
- Operation of a Motor Vehicle with a revoked license
Babcock was arraigned via a telephone conference call from a cell because courts are limited because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Judge William Rota held him without bail until a further hearing in Southern Berkshire District
Court on Thursday.
"This was an outstanding motor vehicle stop and arrest by Officer Huertas," said Chief William Walsh. "It removes a major player in the drug trade from circulation once again, noting Babcock's lengthy criminal record. That's a huge amount of heroin taken off the streets and all of the officers did a commendable job."
Also, on Wednesday, another driver was arrested on drug charges after she struck a utility pole on Park Street in Housatonic.
The report of the single motor vehicle accident was made about noontime and Officers Sam Stolzar and Kris Balestro responded.
Marla J. Monjardo, 51, of Housatonic, was northbound when she went off the road and struck the pole, two parked cars and a guard rail, according to the police report. There were no injuries.
Police say Monjardo was found to be in possession of six bags of heroin and a black-tar substance. She was arrested and charged with Possession of heroin Class A and released without bail for court at a later date. The accident remains under investigation.
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