The fire that destroyed the Mattapoisett Boatyard was likely caused by “the ignition of gasoline vapors during the replacement of a boat’s gas tank,” officials said.
The fire began inside a building at 32 Ned’s Point Road, where a worker had been replacing a boat’s gas tank, said Mattapoisett Fire Chief Andrew Murray and state Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey.
That fire engulfed the marina causing extensive damage Friday afternoon around 2 p.m.
A 50-year-old man was hospitalized with serious burns, as the Herald reported this weekend. A woman who identified herself only as the mother of Phil Macomber, the man who suffered burns in the blaze, said her son is “not doing well.”
“Our hearts go out to the worker who was badly injured during last week’s fire and the family business that’s been a part of our community for 60 years,” said Chief Murray.
He also thanked firefighters from all over the South Coast region who rushed to help put out the six-alarm inferno.
“They defied the danger of a massive, wind-driven fire to prevent it from spreading further into the community and putting more people at risk,” Murray added Monday evening.
The origin and cause of the fire were jointly investigated by the Mattapoisett Fire Department, Mattapoisett Police Department, and State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office.
Investigators said they believe that “a spark ignited gasoline vapors, causing an explosion” and fire that seriously injured the worker, an adult male.
The fire was fed by winds of up to 25 miles per hour coming in off the water and spread to nearby buildings, vehicles, and boats.
Authorities added that three firefighters also suffered injuries related to smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion.
All four victims were “transported from the scene for medical care; the worker remains hospitalized and is expected to survive, and the firefighters have been released,” officials added.