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Five Found Dead In Sheffield Fire; Investigation Continues

A Berkshire County Sheriff's Office vehicle blocks access to Home Road in Sheffield.
Josh Landes
A Berkshire County Sheriff's Office vehicle blocks access to Home Road in Sheffield.

Five people are confirmed dead in a Sheffield, Massachusetts fire this morning.

Details are few even after Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington spoke to reporters in Sheffield Town Hall Wednesday.

“At approximately 7:50 this morning, a call for service was placed to Berkshire County Sheriffs reporting an active fire on Home Road in Sheffield,” said Harrington.

The town’s fire department – along with multiple mutual aid agencies from across the Southern Berkshires and Northern Connecticut – responded to the “fully involved” fire. It was knocked down by around 9:15 and determined extinguished by around 10:15.

“While fire and rescue efforts were taking place, primary and secondary searches revealed the presence of a deceased individual. Further search revealed the presence of four other deceased individuals.  This is an extensive operation and investigation with multiple local and state agencies to include the state fire marshal and detectives from the state police detective unit attached to the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office," said the DA. "I want to thank the first responders, and I ask for your patience as our investigation unfolds.”

According to law enforcement officials, access to Home Road will be limited at least through Thursday morning due to the nature of the scene, where damage was described as “extensive.” Home Road is a rural road that runs through the woods alongside Route 7 to the east.

The identities of the deceased have not been released. The house in question was described as a freestanding single-family home.

Harrington did not take questions at the press conference, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

The southern Berkshire County community of roughly 3,000 residents was already dealing with another tragedy — Sheffield’s Samya Stumo was one of the 157 people killed in Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash. She was a graduate of Mount Everett Regional High School and UMass Amherst.  

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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