Fatal New Bedford Fire Started Accidentally

Most Likely Cause Involved Microwave or Wall Outlet

Investigators have determined that this week’s deadly rooming house fire started accidentally, said New Bedford Fire Chief Scott Kruger, New Bedford Police Chief Paul J. Oliveira, State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, and Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III.

The fire was investigated by the New Bedford Fire Department, New Bedford Police Department, State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office, and State Police assigned to the Bristol District Attorney’s office. Collectively, they determined that the fire started in Room 205, located at the left rear of the second floor. Investigators were able to rule out all potential causes except an event involving a microwave in that location or the wall outlet it was plugged into. The microwave had been in use a short time before the fire broke out.

“Our thoughts are still with the families who lost loved ones, the residents who were injured, and those who lost all their belongings,” said Chief Kruger. “I’d like to express my deep appreciation to the New Bedford firefighters and mutual aid departments who put everything they had into containing this fire and protecting the surrounding structures. This was a tragic event, but it could have been much worse without the assistance of our public safety partners and our community.”

All residents of the four-story rooming house were displaced by the fire. Two victims were recovered from the structure with fatal injuries. District Attorney Quinn identified the first the victim as 59-year-old Manuel Moreira. The second victim, also an adult, has not yet been identified. Five were hospitalized.

“Electrical fires are the second-leading cause of residential fire deaths in Massachusetts,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. “Appliances that generate heat, like microwaves and toasters, should always be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Don’t use them if the device or the cord is damaged. And call an electrician if outlets are warm, discolored, or loose – these are signs that the outlet is not safe to use.”

The New Bedford Fire Department responded to an alarm activation at 1305 Acushnet Ave. at about 3:15 pm on March 28. On arrival, they observed heavy smoke and flames and occupants hanging from the windows and jumping from the building to escape the danger inside. Firefighters immediately began conducting rescues over ground ladders and five people were transported from the scene for medical care.

A general alarm was declared, bringing all New Bedford apparatus and off-duty personnel to the scene along with dozens of firefighters from surrounding communities. The building was well involved before firefighters arrived, and it sustained catastrophic damage, but firefighters were successful in keeping the blaze from extending to several nearby homes and businesses. The fire was under control by about 6:00 pm but firefighters continued to extinguish hot spots for hours afterward and crews remained on scene overnight.

The fire departments of Acushnet, Dartmouth, and Fairhaven provided mutual aid at the scene. Ambulances from Freetown, Lakeville, Marion, Wareham, and Westport supported New Bedford EMS with patient transport and care.

City of New Bedford announces official fund for individuals displaced by rooming house fire

“The City of New Bedford along with non-profit partners including the Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford have announced Rise Up For Homes as the official relief fund for individuals displaced by Tuesday’s rooming house fire on Acushnet Avenue.

“The fire has abruptly displaced dozens of residents and turned their lives upside down. I appreciate the partnership of the Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford and all of the partners involved in Rise Up For Homes to help meet the challenge,” said Mayor Mitchell.

Rise Up For Homes is a collaborative campaign established by the City of New Bedford’s Homeless Service Providers Network (HSPN). The Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford, a non-profit 501(c)3 serves as the fiscal conduit of the funds.

To donate, checks made out to Rise Up For Homes can be dropped off or mailed to the Inter-Church Council, 128 Union Street Suite 100, New Bedford, MA 02740. The Inter-Church Council can be reached at (508) 993-6242.

To donate online, please visit https://riseupforhomes.com/donate.”

Fall River’s “Forever Paws” to host Easter Egg Hunt, Brunch, Hypnotist Show to help out the animals

There will be three special, fun events to help out the Forever Paws Animal Shelter and all of the adorable cats, dogs, bunnies, and other little guys and gals that will soon brighten up someone’s life and household.

Outdoor Easter Egg Hunt
When: April 1, 2023 from 10:00am-12:00pm
Where: 300 Lynwoos St. Fall River
Cost: $10 per child

There will be 2 egg hunts with 20 spots per age group available: ages 6 and under and Ages 7-11. In addition there will be face painting and a bake sale with yummies.

Forever Paws Fundraiser
When: Saturday, April 29 at 7:00pm

Come out for this great fundraiser, my show plus mentalist Mike Miozza, two great shows in one night. Doors open at 6:00 P.M. Mentalist at 7:00 P.M. There will be an intermission. $30 Admission Table of 8 for $240. Feel free to bring your snacks! All beverages must be bought at the bar. Visit the Facebook Event Page here.

About Forever Paws Animal Shelter
Forever Paws Animal Shelter gives animals a renewed leash on life by assisting them while homeless, in danger, or generally in need. We work in collaboration with our Law Enforcement Agencies, members of the public, and other organizations to improve the lives of animals. Our mission is to re-home animals in an ethically positive way that is beneficial to the overall well-being of the animal and our community.

Forever Paws works to give animals the gift of time through managed intake. This allows us to offer comprehensive treatment and care to stray, abused, or abandoned animals. Forever Paws continues to operate under no-kill practices, offering care for all treatable conditions with no restrictions on length of stay. We will always place the quality of life of an animal as our most paramount charge. Forever Paws is devoted to educating future generations to foster compassionate and humane attitudes towards all species of animal.

We are a non-profit organization, relying on donations, fundraising, and dedicated benefactors and supporters.


Forever Paws photo.

Forever Paws photo.


Forever Paws Animal Shelter

300 Lynwood St,
Fall River, MA

Phone: (508) 677-9154
Email: fpas1@ForeverPaws.com
Website: foreverpaws.com/

Bristol County Sheriff’s Office honors “rockstar” on International Transgender Day of Visibility

“Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility, and there’s no better way to celebrate than to give a big shout-out to a Bristol County Sheriff’s Office rock star: Ronnie Manzone.

Ronnie is no stranger to public safety, having worked with the Fairhaven Police Department and the BCSO for decades, and recently moved back to our fleet management department after a successful tour with our policy team.

She’s an inspiration to our entire staff, not just for her courage and compassion, but for the energy and positive attitude she brings day in and day out.”-Bristol County Sheriff’s Office.

City of New Bedford announces 2023 election calendar, nomination papers available

“The Board of Election Commissioners advises the public that the 2023 Municipal Election Calendar is now set. Nomination Papers for Local Office will be available starting on Tuesday, April 4th. The Election Office is located in City Hall, 133 William St. Room 114. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Candidates need to sign up and will be given an information packet that contains the Election Calendar and nomination papers.

Before issuance of nomination papers, the candidate must sign a statement containing their name, address, and the office the person intends to be a candidate. Anyone other than the candidate must present a signed authorization to secure papers on their behalf.

Candidates must obtain 50 certified signatures, per MGL 53 9A, to be eligible to appear on the Preliminary Ballot scheduled for October 3rd.

The Municipal Election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 7, 2023.

In the Preliminary Municipal Election, New Bedford voters will be casting their votes for Mayor, Assesor-At-Large, School Committee, Councilors-At-Large, and Ward Councilors.

For more information, contact Election Commissioner Manuel DeBrito Jr. at (508) 979-1420.

City of New Bedford
Municipal Election Calendar
Preliminary Election – October 3, 2023
Municipal Election – November 7, 2023

APRIL 4: First day on which nomination papers can be obtained from the office of the Board of Election Commissioners for the offices of the Mayor, City Council, Assessor-At-Large, and School Committee. Each candidate must sign with the Board of Election Commissioners before he/she can obtain papers. A signed statement containing the person’s name, address, and the office for which the person intends to be a candidate. Each candidate will be issued five (5) nomination papers.

JULY 28 at 5:00 P.M.: Last day and hour to obtain nomination papers from the Board of Election Commissioners.

AUGUST 1 at 5:00 P.M.: Last day and hour to submit nomination papers to the Board of Election Commissioners for certification of signatures.

AUGUST 15 at 5:00 P.M.: Last day and hour to officially accept nominations once signatures are certified with the Board of Election Commissioners.

AUGUST 17at 5:00 P.M.: Last day and hour for filing withdrawals or objections of nomination papers with the Board of Election Commissioners.

SEPTEMBER 22 at 5:00 P.M.: Last day to register to vote for the Preliminary Election.

SEPTEMBER 26 at 5:00 P.M.: Last day and hour to apply for a mail-in or absentee preliminary ballot.

OCTOBER 2 at 12:00 P.M.: Last day and hour to apply for an in-person absentee preliminary ballot.


OCTOBER 9 at 5:00 P.M.: Last day and hour to file recount petition with Board of Election Commissioners.

OCTOBER 28 at 5:00 P.M.: Last day to register to vote for the Municipal Election.

OCTOBER 31 at 5:00 P.M.: Last day and hour to apply for a mail-in or absentee election ballot.

NOVEMBER 6 at 12:00 P.M.: Last day and hour to apply for an in-person absentee election ballot.


NOVEMBER 17 at 5:00 P.M.: Last day and hour to file for a recount for the Election.

Nighttime rollover on King’s Highway exit in New Bedford

At approximately 9:30pm on Thursday night, New Bedford EMS, Police and Fire Departments received reports of an accident on a King’s Highway exit off of 140N.

Upon arrival, first responders found a vehicle lying on its side in the street. The driver of the car was able to get themselves out of the vehicle before they arrived.

The extent of the driver’s injuries is unknown.

This is a developing story and new information will be added to this article so be sure to return and refresh your page.

All photos by Carlos Pimental Felix:

Video by Carlos Pimental Felix:

New Bedford roadwork sites for the upcoming week of April 3, 2023 – April 7, 2023

“The City of New Bedford has roadwork sites for the upcoming week of April 3, 2023 – April 7, 2023, and they are as follows:

Eversource will be working on gas main relays and services on:

• Allen St from Rockdale Ave to Kirby St
• David St from West Rodney French Blvd to Brock Ave
• Evelyn St from Brownell Ave to town line
• George St from West Rodney French Blvd to Brock Ave
• Jack and Bore under 140 off of Phillips Rd
• Pequot St from Acushnet Ave to end of Pequot St
• Welcome St from West Rodney French Blvd to end of Welcome St
• June St from Acushnet Ave to end of June St
• West Rodney French Blvd from Woodlawn St to Lucas St (South of Flood Gates)

Eversource will be working on gas main retirements on:
• June St

• Contractors (PA Landers and various utility companies) will be working at MassDOT’s Kings Highway project. Minor traffic impacts and lane shifts required.
• Contractor (SCR Constructors) will continue site work at the future South Coast Rail station platform locations in the city. (Church St at Carlisle St and Wamsutta St at Acushnet Ave.) If you have questions, please email the project team at SouthCoastRail@dot.state.ma.us.”

Overnight Lakeville crash sends one to the hospital

“Overnight crash sends one to the hospital.

The call came in just after midnight this morning; sending Ambulances 1 and 3, Engine 1, Car 2, and Car 1 to the scene.

Callers reported a serious crash with occupants trapped. Per procedure, a recall of off duty and on-call firefighters was transmitted.

An adult male was freed from the vehicle by responders and transported to St. Luke’s Hospital, with injuries that appeared to be not life-threatening.”-Lakeville Fire Department.

Lakeville Fire Department photo.

Lakeville Fire Department photo.

Lakeville Fire Department photo.

Top New Bedford Lieutenant in ‘Operation Ghost’ Fentanyl trafficking ring sentenced to prison

“Another of the top lieutenants in the Orlando Badillo Fentanyl Drug Trafficking Organization, which was dismantled in 2019 as a result of a year-long multi-agency investigation led by Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s office, was sentenced to prison last week.

Maria Carrion, 46, of New Bedford, pled guilty in Fall River Superior Court last Friday to indictments charging her with Trafficking Fentanyl and Conspiracy. The defendant was one of the organizations distributors and runners.

The defendant was sentenced by Judge Raffi Yessayan to serve four to six-and-a-half years in state prison, to be followed by two years of supervised probation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Steve Butts, who also coordinated the investigation, dubbed “Operation Ghost.”

In June of 2018, a Dartmouth Police Department detective and a Massachusetts State Police Trooper from DA Quinn’s State Police Drug Unit developed credible information that Orlando Badillo was operating a large-scale Fentanyl Drug Trafficking Organization throughout the greater New Bedford area.

This information sparked “Operation Ghost,” a year-long multi-agency effort to stop the trafficking ring. As their investigation progressed, other local and federal law enforcement Agencies joined the probe, including New Bedford Police, DEA, Homeland Security and the Bristol County Sherriff’s Office.

In March of 2019, a Superior Court Judge authorized investigators to lawfully intercept the cell phone conversations and text messages going to and from the cell phones used by Mr. Badillo and other top members of his organization. Between March 5, 2019 and April 30, 2019, investigators gathered additional evidence, via the wiretap, that explained in detail the intricate workings of the Badillo Drug Trafficking Organization and confirmed the roles played by the various members of the organization. During the wiretap, investigators intercepted numerous calls between Badillo and Luna wherein they discussed Badillo’s drug distribution business and what types of methods could be utilized to improve it.

The Conspiracy indictments relates to an April 27, 2019 phone call involving the defendant and Badillo. During the call, the defendant agreed to take possession of and maintain 350 grams of Fentanyl with the understanding that she would turn those drugs back over to him when he was ready to sell it.

The Trafficking in Fentanyl indictment relates to the April 30, 2019 execution of a search warrant at her home when investigators seized 367 grams of Fentanyl mixed with Heroin, along with digital scales, cutting agents and other items associated with the packaging of Fentanyl for distribution.

“This defendant was part of the drug organization that sold large amounts of Fentanyl in the greater New Bedford area. The defendant and others profited from the distribution of Fentanyl, Heroin and other narcotics to drug users in our communities,” District Attorney Quinn said. “The defendant has a prior drug dealing conviction and I am pleased she was held accountable for her role in distributing Fentanyl as part of this organization.”

New Bedford man indicted on 19 counts of Larceny for allegedly stealing whaling museum artifacts

“The 42-year-old New Bedford man previously employed at the New Bedford Whaling Museum who was arrested earlier this year for allegedly stealing artifacts from the museum has been indicted by the Bristol County Grand Jury and will be arraigned early next month, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Robert M. Burchell has been indicted by the grand jury on 19 counts of Larceny over $1,200. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Fall River Superior Court on these indictments on April 7th.

On January 5, 2023, New Bedford Police arrested Robert M. Burchell, 42, of New Bedford, and charged him with Larceny from a Building.

Burchell was employed as a facilities associate at the museum for the past two years. It is alleged that Burchell stole dozens of pocket-sized items from the museum and sold the artifacts at local antique and pawn shops for cash. A shop owner in West Bridgewater, who bought some of the artifacts from Burchell, tipped off police to his suspicion that the items were rare and likely stolen.

Burchell was initially arraigned on larceny charges in New Bedford District Court on January 6th. The court imposed a cash bail of $5,000 and ordered Burchell to stay away from the museum and have no contact with museum employees.

The total value of the items stolen by Burchell is believed to exceed $150,000. At the present time, most of the items have been returned to the museum. The investigation continues.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michael Scott, the chief of District Attorney Quinn’s Financial Crimes Unit.

Since the defendant has yet to be arraigned on the new indictments in open court, no further facts of the case can be publicly disseminated at this time.”- District Attorney Quinn’s Office.

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