MATTAPOISETT, Mass. (WPRI) — It’s been nearly three weeks since a massive fire leveled the Mattapoisett Boatyard, and people who live in the area are rallying to help the owners rise from the ashes.
“It’s a tight-knit community. It’s a small community,” said Dave Horne, who lives nearby. “Everybody, even people that don’t have boats, know the boatyard.”
An accidental explosion last month quickly turned into an inferno, engulfing buildings, boats and vehicles. The fire also seriously injured Phil Macomber, a longtime worker, who is still recovering.
A GoFundMe page was set up to collect money for Macomber’s medical expenses. So far, it’s raised nearly $160,000.
Horne tells 12 News that Dave and Ned Kaiser, who own the boatyard, set their sights on what’s next almost immediately.
“The Kaisers were moving forward the next day,” Horne said, adding he was shocked to see how much progress has been made in the last few weeks.
The rubble has since been cleared, he said, and the electricity and water have been turned back on.
“There are people are working on boats again,” Horne said. “There just aren’t any buildings.”
That’s why Horne and his wife decided to put together an auction, with the money going toward helping the owners restore the property.
“It goes without saying that all of your support has made all of the difference in keeping us moving forward,” Ned and Dave Kaiser wrote on the boatyard’s Facebook page. “If anyone had any doubt about this community and all who live here, I can tell you that all is good in our little part if the world.”
“These are good, solid, self-made American people that are used to fighting out for everything they got,” Horne said of the Kaisers. “They’re not used to taking anything from anybody.”
Horne is still looking for donations for the auction, and for people to sign up to attend.
“I was telling Ned this afternoon, I said, ‘Understand, we know this is your boatyard, this is your business, but this is also Mattapoisett’s boatyard, and it’s our boatyard too,'” Horne said. “We want out boatyard back and better than ever, as fast as possible.”
The auction will take place Oct. 20 at the Bay Club in Mattapoisett starting at 5 p.m. More information on how to sign up or donate can be found by clicking here.