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Massive six-alarm fire destroys boatyard in Mattapoisett

A massive fire burned at a boat yard in Mattapoisett.WBZ

A massive fire at a boatyard in Mattapoisett burned boats, buildings, and vehicles to the ground Friday afternoon, drawing more than 100 firefighters from southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Three firefighters and one person were injured in the six-alarm fire that sent a plume of black smoke over Buzzards Bay so thick that it was picked up on weather radar.

The four people were taken to a hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries, the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services said in a statement Friday evening.

Five buildings and a dozen boats and cars were destroyed in the fire that started around 1:20 p.m. at the Mattapoisett Boatyard.


“Herculean efforts by more than 100 firefighters at the scene prevented the fire from spreading further into the community,” the statement said.

The Mattapoisett Fire Department began receiving several 911 calls reporting possible explosions in the area of 32 Ned’s Point Road, the statement said.

Arriving crews were met with heavy flames from the rear of one of the buildings on the property, the statement said. Multiple alarms were quickly sounded drawing a response from surrounding south coast communities and as far as Providence.

The state activated its Statewide Fire Mobilization Plan, which brought additional resources to help local fire crews. “The Department of Fire Services has sent an Incident Support Unit to assist incident commanders and a Rehab Unit to support firefighters at the scene,” said Jake Wark, a department spokesman.

Officials at the Mattapoisett police and fire departments were not available for comment.

High winds fueled the fire, with flames quickly jumping from buildings, to boats to parked vehicles. Fire crews began an “aggressive attack” to prevent the heavy fire from spreading to nearby homes and businesses, according to the state Department of Fire Services.

Crews battled the wind-driven flames for about five hours. “Wind coming in off the water at about 25 mph fed the fire, which consumed five buildings and about a dozen cars and boats,” the statement said.


A total of 19 engines, two ladder trucks, two fire boats, 12 tankers, and 12 ambulances responded to the scene, officials said.

A drone unit and a state hazardous materials team also responded. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but does not appear to be suspicious, the statement said.

Dramatic photos and videos of the raging flames and thick smoke pouring over the picturesque harbor quickly spread on social media.

The National Weather Service in Norton tweeted that their radar was detecting “what is most likely a smoke plume” coming from the Mattapoisett area.

Andrew Loconto, a meteorologist at the service, said Friday evening the smoke traveled “probably less than a mile or so” but noted that “it’s really sort of difficult to gauge.”

“It sort of looks like the wind may have carried some of it, but not, [it] doesn’t look like it traveled too far,” Loconto said.

Aerial video footage from WCVB-TV showed multiple buildings, boats, and cars engulfed in flames.

The Lakeville Fire Department said on Twitter that it had firefighters at the scene and posted a photo of a ladder truck supporting a hose that was trained on a smoldering structure.

A massive fire burning at a boatyard in Mattapoisett reached five alarms Friday afternoon. (WCVB Channel 5 helicopter footage) WCVB5 Helicopter footage

The Salvation Army of Massachusetts said on Twitter that it had personnel at the boatyard, “providing hydration and food to first responders battling the blaze.”


According to its website, the Mattapoisett Boatyard is a family-owned business started in 1962. It services and repairs recreational boats, yachts, and other watercraft. The property is assessed at a value of $3.4 million, according to town property records.

Emily Sweeney and Kathy McCabe of the Globe Staff and correspondent Jeremy C. Fox contributed to this report.

Smoke from the massive blaze spread across neighboring areas. WBZ