PORTLAND, Conn. – Five buildings at the Yankee Boat Yard and Marina in Portland, Conn., were destroyed Wednesday by a fast-moving fire that forced 13 employees to flee for their lives, the Middletown Press reported in a story yesterday.
The boatyard employees all escaped unscathed, but one firefighter was transported to the hospital with a minor sprain and another was treated at the scene for heat exhaustion, Portland Fire Chief Robert Shea said.
The interconnected buildings were all “a total loss,” officials told the newspaper. Several boats — fire officials did not know how many — that were stored inside the complex were also lost in the fire, which was fed by paints, solvents, and acetylene tanks.
The fire began in an oversized Quonset hut at the center of the five-building complex and quickly spread in all directions, Fire Marshal Gary Ouellete told the newspaper. The building housed the boatyard’s paint and maintenance shop, the Press reported.
While authorities said they are still determining the fire’s cause, employees said that a welding torch sparked the fire when its flame touched insulation in the first floor paint shop, according to the newspaper.
The paint shop was on the first floor of the marina, which is surrounded by trees and residential homes.
The boatyard occupies a 7.7-acre site along the river; records in the tax assessor’s office show that Yankee Boatyard is owned jointly by Ronald and Dean Bourbeau, Abe Meehl, and Will Sapia, the newspaper reported.
- For more of the latest news, click here.