At approximately 7:40 PM on the evening of Dec. 9, the Great Barrington Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire with possible entrapment at 24 Silver Street of the Beech Tree Commons complex. Fire units found fire venting from a rear apartment of an eight unit apartment building.

A primary search was initiated along with fire attack. Two unresponsive occupants were located and rescued within minutes. Southern Berkshire Ambulance provided medical care and transported both patients to Fairview Hospital. One patient succumbed to his injuries. The second remains in critical condition.

The fire was quickly knocked down and contained to one unit. Utilities were shut off to the building forcing the occupants to seek alternative housing for the evening. Accommodations at local hotels were provided by the Beech Tree Commons
management.

A second alarm was initially requested dispatching Monterey, Egremont, Stockbridge,
and Sheffield fire departments but cancelled when the fire was brought under control. Great Barrington Fire received assistance on scene from Great Barrington Police, Southern Berkshire Ambulance, and the Fire Department Support Group. Lenox Fire provided a RIT team and Sheffield Fire provided station coverage.

The Great Barrington Fire Department is offering its heartfelt condolences to all those affected by this tragedy.

The origin and cause of the fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s office with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police Berkshire CPAC Unit and the Department of Fire Services. More information will be provided once their
investigations conclude.

For more information please contact: Charles Burger, Chief, Great Barrington Fire Department.

(press release sent to WSBS from Great Barrington Fire Chief Charles Burger for online and on-air use)