Mattapoisett house fire leaves one in custody, community supports victims

Feb 7, 2023

MATTAPOISETT — What began as an early morning call to the Mattapoisett Police Department resulted in a man in custody on attempted murder charges and a home destroyed by fire. 

Jeremy Gates of Mattapoisett was arrested on Thursday, Feb. 2 after allegedly setting fire to a mattress in his home at 3 Brandt Island Road with his wife and son inside, according to police scanner audio. 

First responders arrived at the Brandt Island Road home at approximately 1 a.m. and, upon arrival, found that all three occupants were outside of the building, according to a press release. 

Mattapoisett first responders were assisted by Marion Police, Fire and EMS, Rochester Fire and EMS, Fairhaven Fire, Fairhaven Police, the Plymouth County Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Mattapoisett Highway Department, Mattapoisett Building Department and Mattapoisett Animal Control.

First responders closed a portion of Route 6 at the Brandt Island Road intersection to run a fire hose to the house. Gates' wife and 5th-grade son both escaped the home unharmed, Mattapoisett police report.

The case is currently under investigation by the Mattapoisett Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police Fire Marshal's Office.

“Is he ready to be transported to the station?” asked a voice on the Mattapoisett police scanner, referring to Gates. “Alright, why don’t you take him in.”

According to filings with Wareham District Court, Gates is being charged with attempted murder.  

The Mattapoisett Fire Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Since the fire, the Mattapoisett community has come out in force to support the Gates family. 

A GoFundMe Campaign started by Mattapoisett resident Jessica DeCicco-Carey has raised $1,400 for the family as of Tuesday, Feb. 7. 

“The family has nothing except the clothes on their backs,” wrote DeCicco-Carey in the fundraiser. 

Another fundraiser started by the Mattapoisett Parent-Teacher Association has raised $2,500 “and counting,” said Mattapoisett Parent-Teacher Association Treasurer Andrea Osborne. 

The Mattapoisett PTA fundraiser will be open until Feb. 17. 

The PTA is also asking for donations of hygiene items and clothing in  boys’ size 10-12 that can be dropped off at Old Hammondtown School or Center School in Mattapoisett. 

But the Gates family is receiving more than just monetary support. 

Nick’s Pizza in Mattapoisett donated pizzas to the family following the fire and is offering them one free meal every day, said restaurant employee Nicole Richard.  

“Everyone just jumps in and it’s really refreshing to know we live in such a great community,” said Osborne.