Fire in Marshfield marina destroys three boats and damages four more; cause under investigation

Marshfield, MA - 12/20/12 - State and local fire officials continue to probe the cause of a fire at the Taylor Marina overnight that gutted three fishing boats, from left, Naut Again, Big Mac, and Ellen Marie in storage, and damaged four other vessels. (George Rizer for the Boston Globe)
State and local fire officials continue to probe the cause of a fire at the Taylor Marina in Marshfield that gutted three fishing boats and damaged four other vessels.
George Rizer for The Boston Globe

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan’s office is investigating a fire in a Marshfield marina that destroyed three boats and forced the evacuation of neighbors due to heavy smoke generated by burning fiberglass on the vessels, according to the Marshfield Fire Department.

Authorities received numerous 911 calls shortly around midnight reporting the fire at the Taylor Marina, which is located on Central Street. The first firefighters on the scene discovered two 30-foot boats already being consumed by flames with six other boats exposed to flames, officials said.

Seven minutes after arriving, firefighters struck a second alarm, which brought the town’s entire on-duty force to the scene. Marshfield Fire Chief Kevin Robinson said in a statement that the large response allowed firefighters to keep the fire from spreading outside of the marina’s storage area.

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During the height of the two-alarm fire, the burning fiberglass boats generated heavy smoke that led to the evacuation of some homes on Cherry Street, officials said. No homes were damaged and no injuries were reported.

Three boats were completely destroyed and four were damaged by heat and by smoke.

Coan said in a telephone interview today that State Police troopers assigned to his office have been at the marina to collect evidence. He said no cause has been established, and that it is not yet known whether the marina fire is part of a string of at least 16 arson fires that have taken place in abandoned or unoccupied buildings since late September.

The marina fire was discovered about three hours after another suspicious fire was discovered —and put out—in the rear of an unoccupied summer home in the Humarock section of neighboring Scituate. On Dec. 13, a fire was set in another seasonal home in Scituate on Central Avenue, which officials have declared was an act of arson.

Coan asked anyone with information about the marina fire—or any other fire—to contact his office. The statewide Arson Hotline is 1-800-682-9229 and is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are confidential.