NORTH ADAMS -- A city man injured in an explosion at 497 Daniels Road on Monday night is in critical condition at Albany Medical Center, according to hospital officials.
The victim, Anthony Randall, 24, of Daniels Road, suffered a serious head injury from the blast and was taken by helicopter to the New York hospital after a swift response by both neighbors and city emergency personnel.
City Fire Director Stephen Meranti said in an interview Tuesday that early investigations indicate that a 100-gallon fuel tank was the source of the blast. Reports say the steel tank, meant to be mounted on a pickup truck to haul diesel fuel to machines at a work site, exploded after Randall attempted to weld some iron on the object. Authorities aren’t sure whether the tank contained fuel or just vapors at the time of the explosion.
Meranti said that neighbors were active at the barn where the explosion occurred before responders arrived.
"We were lucky to have the [neighborhood residents] there to help out and assist us, especially by extinguishing the fire and preventing it from spreading to the rest of the building," Meranti said Tuesday. "Really, all we had to deal with was the victim."
Immediately following the explosion, which was reported at 8:41 p.m., flames had begun to catch in several areas of the barn.
But, according to Meranti, neighbors from the surrounding Daniels Street houses had removed Randall from the
"There was a number of neighbors there that helped out," Meranti said. "After we arrived, [Randall] was treated at the scene and sent by ambulance to MCLA’s softball field on West Shaft Road, where a helicopter picked him up."
The city’s Police Department, Fire Department and North Adams Ambulance Service responded to the scene, along with an officer of the Clarksburg Police Department.
Meranti said further investigation of the explosion will be conducted by the state Fire Marshall’s Office.
To reach Phil Demers, email email@example.com.