Dryer fire hits Mattapoisett Laundromat

Aug 8, 2019

MATTAPOISETT — When manager Nancy Duff arrived at work at the Mattapoisett Laundromat early in the morning on Thursday, Aug. 7 she was confronted with the sight and overwhelming smell of smoke from outside the building. As she got closer, she said she “unlocked the door, and realized we were in trouble.”

Duff called 911 at 6:21 a.m. First responders from Mattapoisett Police and Fire Departments, and the Marion Fire Department arrived shortly thereafter. After encountering heavy smoke inside the building, first responders determined that a dryer had caused the fire. They were able to contain the fire to that dryer, and put it out. The first responders also helped with ventilation, while Fairhaven Fire Department covered the station in Mattapoisett.

“I’m grateful that no one was hurt, and the fire was contained to that area,” Duff said.

While avoiding personal injuries, and structural damage to the building, the fire will still take a toll on the laundromat. Owner, Bruce Rocha Sr., said that the fire came at an inopportune time, as the first two weeks of August are the “zenith of our business” thanks to summer residents in Mattapoisett.

Rocha Sr. said that four dryers will need to be replaced, and that air conditioners in the building need to be cleaned from the inside. A mural located just above the dryer that caught fire also sustained some minor damage. Rocha Sr. said that he will reach out to the artist Michael Rogovsky to figure out how to best repair the mural.

The seaside-themed mural is meant to denote peace and tranquility. Rocha Sr. said that when he first started his business he “wanted to open the most beautiful laundromat in America,” and that the mural contributed to that vision.

Before the laundromat reopens for business, Duff said that the building will need to be cleaned from top to bottom. She said that restoration company, Servpro has been enlisted to handle the clean up. The restoration company set up fans to help ventilate the laundromat shortly after the fire was contained.

Rocha Sr. said that the dryer that caught fire was loaded at 11:30 p.m. the night before. There were customers at the laundromat at 1 a.m., but they did not notice anything dangerous. He said that the fire was likely caused by the dryer being overstuffed, and not venting properly.

Rocha Sr. and Duff said that they hope to be back in business by next Tuesday, Aug.13. Employees will likely be at the laundromat to answer messages while normal operations are shut down.