The Pittsfield Fire Department responded to 128 Ridge Avenue for a reported structure fire on Thursday morning just before noon. The home is a single family, wood frame dwelling on the shores of Pontoosac Lake. According to the fire officials, a neighbor reported the fire in the residence, which was unoccupied at the time of the alarm.

When firefighters arrived on the scene they found heavy smoke venting form the homes second floor window. The residence sits back a distance from the roadway, and that made it necessary to use a longer stretch of attack hose line. Two engines mounted an aggressive interior attack, while another truck ventilated the second floor by cutting a hole in the roof. The venting was needed due to increasing fire and heat conditions in the attic space. The fire was contained to the second floor. Part of the attic space and roof sustained fire damage and there was smoke and fire damage throughout.

There were no civilian injuries reported. One firefighter was treated at the scene and then transported to Berkshire Medical Center as a precaution. The fire is being investigated by the fire departments investigation unit, and the cause is still under investigation. Officials said that the cause may have been electrical.


Rail Service From Boston To The Berkshires Being Studied

The Joint Committee on Transportation has favorably released a bill which will study the costs and impacts of rail service from Boston to the Berkshires. State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier said in a statement: “In advocating for economic development it’s important to not only look to the immediate future but to create opportunities in a decade or two. A rail study gives us the tools to see what it will take to better connect all of Western Mass to the Boston metro area."

The study will include projected costs of upgrading versus construction of new track, capital costs, including takings, the purchase of rolling stock; projected timelines and ridership; an assessment of environmental and community impacts and the resulting economic, social and cultural benefits to the Berkshires and Pioneer Valley and the Commonwealth as a whole.

Farley-Bouvier said, "The progress this bill has made to include the Berkshires is the result of teamwork at its very best. This entire delegation came together with a strong, unified and consistent voice and we are pleased that legislative leadership agrees with us."

The progress this bill has made to include the Berkshires is the result of teamwork at its very best.

According to the State Rep. consistent, reliable, affordable East-West Rail would allow for people to live in the Berkshires and work in other parts of the state, and would allow for more businesses to open up here and expand our cultural and tourism markets. She said that it needs to be part of true a vision for the future of transportation in the Commonwealth.


Trash Pickup Alternatives Being Looked At In Pittsfield

The Pittsfield City Council says it wait for Mayor Linda Tyer to return with another tote-based trash pickup program proposal. The Berkshire Eagle reports that the council says it will do its own research. The council voted unanimously to invite another hauler, Waste Zero, to give a presentation on a "pay-as-you-throw" program during its next meeting February 27th. That system would establish charges for residents based on the amount of trash they put curbside. Councilors said they'd like to explore alternatives to the mayor’s tote-based trash pickup plan, which would relegate rubbish removal to one 45-gallon for trash and one 96-gallon tote for recycling.