Officials identify two boys, man who died in Lake Onota Village fire

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PITTSFIELD — An adult male and twin brothers were identified Sunday as the victims of a mobile home fire in Lake Onota Village.

Kasper and Sylas Stone, both 6, died in the fire on Saturday at 11 Lakewood Circle, according to the Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The third victim was Austin F. Grzelak, 25, of 20 Larch St., Pittsfield.

The twins lived at 11 Lakewood Circle, but their relationship with Grzelak is unclear. Their causes of death have not been determined, pending an autopsy in Boston. 

Two people escaped the fire, which was reported around 3:40 a.m. A neighbor, Laurie Fuentes, identified them as the boys' older sister and their mother. Fuentes was awake when the Pittsfield Fire Department arrived at the scene. As she went out to investigate, she saw the two survivors standing in her driveway.

"I gave the daughter a blanket and a T-shirt as she told me she had to jump out her window," Fuentes told The Eagle on Sunday.

The DA's office confirmed the mother was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she is expected to recover from injuries suffered in the fire. It's not known if the daughter was injured.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, but authorities believe either a candle or smoking materials in the master bedroom ignited it.

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"The Berkshire District Attorney's Office sends sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who died in this tragic incident," Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington said in a statement.

The mobile home was gutted and the residence next door at 12 Lakewood Circle sustained damage to its siding, which started to melt. There is only one hydrant in the private park, which caused some initial water problems. Tankers with water from nearby fire departments came to the scene to help douse the flames, Pittsfield Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said Saturday.

Lake Onota Village is a mobile home community of 131 units off Valentine Road, near Pecks Road. On Sunday, several neighbors were outside trying to track down the two cats that also escaped the fire.

"I heard screaming, but there was nothing I could do. I can't talk about it any more," said one man, who declined to give his name.

Fuentes stared at the shell of the home. "Everything is charred, everything is gone," she said. "This is such a tragedy. I'm so sad."

Fuentes and other neighbors noted how their children would play with the twin boys and their sister. The three were often seen riding their bicycles in the neighborhood.

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com and 413-496-6233.


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