Yacht club resolves to rebuild after destructive fire

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BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) — The Bristol Yacht Club has halted activities after a fire Sunday afternoon damaged its clubhouse. The owners are working to figure out repairs and whether upcoming events they had planned can go forward, club commodore Ruth Souto said in a Facebook post early Monday.

Firefighters from Bristol responded to the club around 2 p.m. Sunday, finding flames coming out of the building. The four-alarm fire took about three hours to extinguish; Souto noted that crews from Warren, Portsmouth and Swansea assisted with the efforts.

No one was hurt, but there was significant damage to the building.

On Monday, some of the windows were boarded up and a construction fence was placed around the building.

The fire started in mulch outside the kitchen, spreading to the building, according to Bristol’s fire chief. They’re investigating precisely what sparked it.

As a result of the damage, Souto said the building will be closed until further notice. 

Several neighbors expressed disappointment and sympathy on the Facebook post, with some sharing memories of events held at the clubhouse, and others ready to contribute to a rebuilding campaign.

“The Bristol Yacht Club is more than a building,” Souto said. “We are a community and will work together to overcome this unfortunate circumstance.”

One event that was expected to come up soon, as listed on the page, was a talk with Volvo Ocean Race skipper Charlie Enright of Vestas 11th Hour Racing. That was originally scheduled at the club on the evening of Friday, Nov. 16.

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