Large fire consumes boats, buildings and vehicles at Mattapoisett shipyard

A huge fire at a Massachusetts marina turned several boats, buildings and vehicles into burning shells on Friday, producing a plume of black smoke so thick it was picked up by weather radar.

Aerial video taken by WCVB-TV showed much of the Mattapoisett Dockyard engulfed in flames, with the fire apparently limited to buildings and boats ashore. A firefighting vessel could be seen pulled towards the dock, getting as close as possible as it sprayed a jet of water at one of the smoldering sailboats.

“A boat caught fire in one of the sheds, and it came up very, very quickly,” said shipyard mechanic Tim Price. says WJAR-TV. “Everything went up. I think we lost everything.

Price said he knew one person who was injured, but did not provide details.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and Mattapoisett Fire and Police Department officials said no one was available for comment. Firefighters from across the region responded to the blaze, including as far away as Providence, Rhode Island, about 30 miles away.

Drought conditions and high winds Friday in the Mattapoisett area had prompted the National Weather Service to issue a high fire danger warning. The marina fire sent thick black smoke over southeastern Massachusetts that could be seen for miles around.

The weather service said on Twitter that his radar had detected “what is most likely a plume of smoke” at Mattapoisett.

Mattapoisett resident Richard Walker, 72, was riding a motorbike when he spotted the cloud of smoke. He said he could see it 8 kilometers away as he continued his journey.

“There was flames and black smoke. So much stuff,” Walker said. “Fortunately, it seemed like a lot of people had their boats in the harbor.

Pamela Fleming saw the fire from the back patio of her summer home. She said the blaze knocked out power to the area and forced the closure of a road to a popular beach and lighthouse just beyond the marina.

“The popping sounds of all the fuel and other combustibles exploding were very strange,” Fleming said. “Smoke was billowing aggressively from the area. As soon as he stood up, there was more thick black smoke to take his place.

Several other people posted images and video of the fire and smoke on social media.

The Mattapoisett Boatyard website states that it has been a family-owned marina since 1962, catering primarily to boaters, and has the capacity to store up to 150 vessels over the summer that are not in use or at rest. sale.

Earnest A. Martinez