Mattapoisett Boatyard fire ruled accidental

Aug 23, 2022

MATTAPOISETT — The fire that burned down the Mattapoisett Boat Yard on Friday, Aug. 19 was found to be accidental, say authorities. 

According to a press release from Mattapoisett Fire Chief Andrew Murray and State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey, the fire was “most likely caused by the ignition of gasoline vapors during the replacement of a boat’s gas tank.”

The investigation was conducted by the Mattapoisett Fire Department, Mattapoisett Police Department, and State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit.

According to the press release, they determined that the fire “began inside a building at 32 Ned’s Point Road, where a worker had been replacing a boat’s gas tank.” Then, stated investigators, “a spark ignited gasoline vapors during this process, causing an explosion and fire.

According to the release, “the fire was fed by winds of up to 25 miles per hour coming in off the water.” Three fire fighters were treated for “injuries related to smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion.”

All three fire fighters were released following medical care. 

The worker hurt during the explosion was identified through a GoFundMe campaign as Phil Macomber, who was described on social media as “part of the Mattapoisett Boatyard family.” He is expected to survive, stated the press release. The GoFundMe campaign set up to pay for Macomber’s medical treatment has reached $136,993 as of Tuesday, Aug. 23.  

At approximately 1:20 pm the Mattapoisett Fire Department received multiple 911 calls about explosions at the boatyard. According to the press release, the fire ultimately spread to six buildings, 47 vehicles and 14 boats before it was contained around 6 pm by the joint efforts of over 100 fire fighters, 19 engines, 12 tankers, three fireboats and two ladder trucks from across South Eastern Massachusetts.

“This highly coordinated and collaborative effort allowed us to contain the fire to the boatyard property and save all of the surrounding homes and structures,” stated Murray.