Video: Mass. boat yard blaze seriously injures man; 3 firefighters treated for heat, exertion

Crews from multiple departments battled the 6-alarm fire for about 5 hours


Marie Szaniszlo
Boston Herald

BOSTON — A 50-year-old man remained hospitalized with serious burns on Saturday as investigators tried to determine what caused a 6-alarm fire that decimated the Mattapoisett Boat Yard, leaving only rubble and burned-out boats and cars behind.

A woman who identified herself only as the mother of Phil Macomber, the 50-year-old man who suffered burns in the blaze, told the Herald that her son is “not doing well.”

Crews battle a massive fire that destroyed buildings, cars and vessels at a boat yard in Mattapoisett, Mass., on Friday.
Crews battle a massive fire that destroyed buildings, cars and vessels at a boat yard in Mattapoisett, Mass., on Friday. (WCVB via AP)

“Fifteen percent of his body is covered in burns, and he has a broken femur, along with all the smoke he breathed in,” she said Saturday. “He’s going to be a long time getting back on his feet.”

Three firefighters also were treated for heat and exertion as a result of the blaze, which started at about 1:20 p.m. Friday, when the Mattapoisett Fire Department received numerous 911 calls reporting an explosion at the boatyard at 32 Ned’s Point Road, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for the state Department of Fire Services.

Firefighters arrived to find heavy flames, which spread from one building to several other structures and multiple cars and boats.

Firefighters immediately began an aggressive attack on the blaze to prevent it from spreading any farther. With help from fire departments in surrounding cities and towns, they battled the fire for about five hours, Wark said.

Wind coming in off the water at about 25 mph fed the blaze, which consumed five buildings and a large number of nearby cars and boats by the time it was knocked down at about 6:00 p.m., he said.

“This is one of, if not the, largest fire that our community has ever seen,” the fire department said in a statement.

Smoke from the fire was so thick that meteorologists said it could be seen on weather radar.

The town notified residents on its website Saturday that water could be discolored through the weekend because of the blaze.

Investigators haven’t yet determined the cause of the fire but don’t believe it is suspicious.

“Words cannot begin to describe the devastation we are dealing with right now after this tragic event,” the boatyard’s owners said on Facebook. “Phil has been a part of our boatyard family for just about 20 years, and is in need of any help he can get.”

By 4:15 p.m. Saturday, a GoFundMe page the owners started, https://tinyurl.com/29pv8r5z, had raised $48,173 of a $30,000 goal.

“He’s a great guy,” his cousin, Barry Haskell, said. “I knew about the fire, but I had no idea he was involved. I feel bad for the kid.”

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