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Authorities Make Arrest in Adams Structure Fire Incident
Staff Reports,
10:59AM / Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Authorities are investigating a fire that destroyed a ranch house on East Road on Tuesday.

The suspect was apprehended near the mall entrance after a police pursuit.



Authorities detour traffic at the mall entrance in Lanesborough as they take the suspect into custody. 
The Adams Police Department has released more information on Tuesday's fire and suspect chase.
 
According to a statement released on Wednesday morning,"Based on the information provided to police from witnesses along with family and friends there was concern that the fire had been intentionally set, and that firearms had been stolen from the home."
 
The suspect in the incident then fled to Pittsfield where he was involved in a "domestic situation" that resulted in a lockdown of city schools and a countywide "be on the look out," or BOLO, for himself and the red Subaru he was driving. 
 
He was sighted by a Lenox Police officer about 3:15 p.m. but when the officer attempted to stop him, he fled with the officer in pursuit. The suspect was finally arrested in Lanesborough near the northern Berkshire Mall entrance "after a brief stand-off with police."
 
The incident is still under investigation by multiple agencies and he is currently being held pending arraignment in district court.
 
The release by the Adams Police Department states it "would like to thank its officers, and the other agencies involved in the investigation of this incident."

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The East Road home was in flames when firefighters arrived.

Original post on 4:31 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23: ADAMS, Mass. — Officials are investigating a structure fire on East Road on Tuesday afternoon that destroyed a single-family home. 

 
Authorities declined to provide more information but the scene was cordoned off as a crime scene and police were on the lookout for an individual who had reportedly fled the area in a red Subaru, according to scanner reports. 
 
"It is an open investigation and we have a long way to go," said Adams Police Detective Michael Wandrei.
 
The suspect was arrested at about 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday — about two hours after the fire was reported — after leading police on a chase that ended near the Berkshire Mall. 
 
Fire Chief John Pansecchi said the call came in at 1:21 p.m. and that there was significant smoke and fire when firefighters arrived at 151 East Road. 
 
"What we were advised that there was smoke coming from the house and someone was trying to get the dog out," he said. "When I arrived they had heavy smoke across the whole attic area of the house and fire venting out the roof."
 
Mutual aid was called into Cheshire and North Adams fire departments and Clarksburg Fire Department covered the station. Adams Ambulance Service and Northern Berkshire EMS also responded. 
 
"The guys got in there and we got it knocked it down," he said. "The guys did a great job."
 
Pansecchi said the owners were not in the house at the time of the fire and that when firefighters arrived, they found the dog tied outside and safe. 
 
The fire chief alluded to the fact the fire began when no one was home as the reason for an investigation. That was being done, he said, by state fire marshal's office, himself and Adams Police. 
 
According to an individual with knowledge of the afternoon's events, the suspect is related to the home's owners. The house is owned by Jerome Cross, according to town documents. 
 
Pittsfield Police posted on Facebook that they were looking for Courtney Cross, 34, last seen operating a red 2017 Subaru WRX at 2 p.m. on North Street and who was wanted by Adams Police. "Witness information is that Cross is in possession of firearms," states the post, adding that no one should approach him but instead call 911. It was not clear from listening to the scanner if Cross had any firearms.
 
The fire marshal's office was "extremely interested in the clothing" the suspect was wearing, one scanner post stated. Officers were told over the scanner to ensure that the clothing of the individual stopped and arrested that afternoon was properly cited as evidence.
 
Pansecchi was awaiting the arrival of investigators from the state fire marshal's office and expected to be on the scene for some time. The owners of the home had made arrangements to stay elsewhere, he said, and did not require aid from the Red Cross. 
 
The road was closed off for several hours.
 
This story will be updated as more information becomes available. ... 
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