Several crews battled a massive fire, as explosion after explosion ripped through a boatyard in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. Things are normally quiet there, but not on Friday. At least one person was hurt besides “an unknown number of firefighters” who suffered minor injuries, officials report.
The boatyard blew up
At least one person is reported injured along with several firefighters at the Mattapoisett Boatyard. The fire professionals sustained non-threatening injuries while battling the blaze which officials note was reported around 2 p.m. on Friday, August 19.
The facility which exploded and burned to the ground is located on Ned’s Point. Witnesses relate that there were “a series of explosions before the flames and black smoke consumed the entire property.”
The smoke was so intense and overwhelming that it’s the main thing everyone’s talking about. “All of a sudden, black smoke. Thick, thick, thick black smoke. So, we sat there for a while, and we just kept hearing bangs — explosion after explosion. I mean, in an hour, there had to have been 50 explosions just going off and off,” a local resident relates.
— DavidJMonteiro (@HeyDMonteiro) August 19, 2022
By the time news choppers started circling, “multiple buildings, several boats and about two dozen cars were in flames or burned-out shells.” They note the “heavy, thick plume of black smoke” from the boatyard “could be seen on the horizon for miles.”
Several crews responded to the multi-alarm fire and teamed up to tackle different parts of the boatyard.
One crew “worked to douse the flames from above,” while “a fire boat sprayed water on the fire from a dock in Mattapoisett Harbor.” The blaze was so widespread that fire crews had to be called in from surrounding areas to help.
No cause determined
Authorities aren’t speculating yet about what set the fire and explosions off but they do confirm the plume of smoke rising out of the boatyard was so dense that it was detected on radar.
The National Weather Service put out a warning bulletin covering the area of the fire, adding that there was already “an elevated fire risk due to drought and high winds.”
Officials with the town of Mattapoisett advise residents that there will be repercussions from the boatyard blaze for quite a while.
For instance, “residents may experience discolored water as a result of the fire.” Pamela Fleming observed the blaze from the safety of her back deck.
She points out that “the fire took out the capacity of the area and constrained the conclusion of a street to a well-known ocean side and beacon just past the marina.”
She has some theories too. The “popping” suggests to her that was “all the fuel and different combustibles detonating.” That, she says “was exceptionally creepy.” Smoke from the boatyard “was forcefully surging from the area. When it rose, there was more dark weighty moving smoke to have its spot.“