Abandoned camp fire caused large brush fire in Amherst

(Western Mass News photo)

A full-scale recovery mission is underway in Puffer’s Pond in Amherst.

This is a heartbreaking story hitting the Amherst community, but the details surrounding today’s recovery are still unfolding.

"I've come here before. It's a pretty quiet place, so you wouldn't expect anything to happen," said Maitreya Marathe of Amherst.

Crews responded to the pond around 2 p.m. Friday for a reports of a missing adult swimmer.

Western Mass News was told all crews cleared the scene around 7 p.m. Friday.

"We are considering this this a recovery effort for a male that went under the water at approximately 1:40 and we will be on-scene until this recovery effort is completed," said Amherst Police Capt. Jennifer Gundersen.

Allison Lam of Amherst added, "We heard a lot of ambulances, police cars, fire trucks while we were walking this way."

Emergency crews quickly arrived on-scene.

"They were loading a boat into the water and it seemed like for a good 45 minutes, they were paddling around," Marathe said

Dive teams combed the pond for any signs of the adult male.

"We received numerous 911 calls and when we arrived, there was one person in the water - a member of the community that had seen this transpire," Gundersen noted.

This is a popular swimming and recreation area, especially during the warmer months.

The 11 acre pond has depths up to 20 feet and there have been reports of swimmers diving in unsafe spots in the past.

The exact details surrounding the incident remain unclear and the investigation remains active and ongoing.

The pond area is still closed as police continue their work.

Western Mass News will have more information on-air and online as soon as it becomes available.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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