Pittsfield Firefighters Rescue Apartment Occupants

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters were able to douse a blaze to allow three trapped occupants of an Appleton Avenue apartment to flee to safety. 
 
The structure fire at 35 Appleton was reported at about 5:11 a.m. on Tuesday. Deputy Chief Daniel Garner said the rear of the 2 1/2-story house was on fire when the the department arrived. 
 
The structure has four residential units and "fast fire extinguishment enabled the residents of apartment 3 to safely self-evacuate" as fire had spread to their doorway and only means of egress. 
 
The rest of the building was searched and all occupants were evacuated. There were no reported injuries. 
 
An estimated damage to the rear of the structure, siding and fascia, porch and door is more than $5,000. 
 
 
The cause of the fire is being investigated by city fire and police and the state fire marshal's office. 
 

Tags: structure fire,   

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District Attorney Launches 'High-Risk' Team to Address Domestic Violence

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Cathy Felix talks about her daughter, Julie Shade, a victim of domestic violence who was murdered by her husband. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire District Attorney's Office has launched a new effort to address domestic and sexual abuse in the region.
 
District Attorney Andrea Harrington, joined by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, on Thursday introduced a Domestic Violence High Risk Team designed to bring multiple disciplines together to strengthen social service and law enforcement responses to domestic violence. The DA's office has also created a new position of a domestic violence coordinator who will work with the team and develop intervention plans.
 
The initiative continues a campaign promise Harrington made to prioritize domestic violence and develop a team of made up of representatives across several disciplines to create a coordinated response. 
 
"We are using our power to dismantle a culture of violence against women and girls," she said. "Being the first female district attorney [in Berkshire County], being the first anything, being a woman in power in particular, and we have a lot of powerful women standing here behind me today, that in and of its self is meaningless unless we use that power to bring equity and human rights and justice to our community."
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