This was the first official weekend of UMass students being back in the area, and a busy one for first responders.

While responding to more than fifty calls, first responders were actually assaulted, and a porch collapsed, leaving dozens of students displaced.

We spoke with Assistant Fire Chief Lindsay Stromgren and he tells us they expected this weekend to be busy.

Since Friday evening, he says they have responded to more than fifty calls, ranging from breaking up parties, to treating intoxicated students.

"Having a huge party like this where you live," Assistant Fire Chief Stromgren tells us. "Is just a recipe for disaster, because you lose all control over what's going on."

With the return of students back in Amherst, also comes the increase of off-campus parties.

Typically, overcrowding is an issue, but the situation grew dangerous at a duplex on Fearing Street when an outdoor porch collapsed.

"The bigger concern is," continued Assistant Fire Chief Stromgren. "When they hold a large party, like on Friday night, because, you really have no control over how many people are there. You get into crowding issues inside the structure. It's a fire safety issue. In this case, you get into overcrowding issues that were not intended to support that kind of weight."

Assistant Fire Chief Stromgren tells Western Mass News the wood was rotted, and the porch served as a fire escape for the home.

"In the process of that collapse," stated Assistant Fire Chief Stromgren. "There was a propane gas line that runs underneath it that ruptured, so we also had propane gas flowing in the area. Fortunately, that was secured pretty quickly."

He says there were no reported injuries.

When the porch collapsed, everyone ran off so they had no way of evaluating everybody there.

More than a dozen students have now been displaced, because the structure is now considered uninhabitable.

In a separate incident Saturday evening, Stromgren says that paramedics responded to a fight on Hobart Lane.

He says, as they were transporting one of the victims to the hospital, the 21-year-old UMass student assaulted one of the paramedics, giving them a possible concussion.

More paramedics responded, as well as an officer, which the victim allegedly also went on to assault.

The identity of the student has not been released, but Stromgren says he'll face assault and battery charges on a paramedic and a police officer.

They will also meet with UMass officials since the student also violated the student code of conduct.

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

Content Producer


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