Large Fire Consumes Boats, Buildings, Vehicles at Boatyard

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
August 19, 2022 Updated: August 19, 2022

MATTAPOISETT, Mass.—A huge fire at a Massachusetts marina left several boats and vehicles burned-out shells Friday and produced a plume of black smoke so thick it was picked up by weather radar.

Aerial video taken by WCVB-TV showed much of the boatyard in Mattapoisett engulfed in flames Friday afternoon, destroying a number of boats, vehicles, and buildings. Firefighters from around the region, including from as far away as Providence, Rhode Island about 30 miles away, responded to the blaze.

People who picked up the phones at the Mattapoisett fire and police departments said no one was available to comment. It was unclear if anyone was hurt.

The cause of blaze is currently under investigation.

The area of the fire was part of a National Weather Service warning Friday of elevated fire risk due to drought and high winds. It sent a plume of dense black smoke over southeastern Massachusetts that could be seen for miles.

Boatyard Fire
Crews battle a massive fire that has destroyed buildings, cars, and vessels at a boat yard in Mattapoisett, Mass., on Aug. 19, 2022. (WCVB via AP)

The Weather Service said on Twitter that its radar had detected “what is most likely a smoke plume” in Mattapoisett.

Mattapoisett resident Richard Walker, 72, was heading out on a motorcycle ride when he spotted the thick black smoke.

He drove down to the town beach and shot a brief video. He said he could see it even five miles away as he continued on his ride.

“There were flames and billowing black smoke. So much of it,” Walker said. “Thankfully, it looks like a lot of people had their boats out in the harbor. There didn’t seem to be too many in the yard.”

Pamela Fleming saw the fire from the back deck of her summer home in Mattapoisett. She said the fire 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 was very eerie,” Fleming said. “The smoke was aggressively billowing from the area. As soon as it rose, there was more black heavy rolling smoke to take its place.”

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

The Mattapoisett Boatyard’s website says it’s been a family-owned marina since 1962, catering primarily to recreational boaters, and has the capacity to store up to 150 vessels during the summer that aren’t in use or are for sale.