Fire damages new boatbuilding shop in Eastport

This boat at Millennium Marine was damaged and fell over when it filled with water after sprinklers were activated by a fire Wednesday morning.
Courtesy of Millennium Marine
This boat at Millennium Marine was damaged and fell over when it filled with water after sprinklers were activated by a fire Wednesday morning.
Posted July 23, 2014, at 11:01 a.m.
Last modified July 23, 2014, at 2:39 p.m.

EASTPORT, Maine — A fire at a boatbuilding business destroyed one boat under construction, heavily damaged another, and caused widespread smoke and water damage to the shop Wednesday, the company reported.

However, Millenium Marine expects to resume operations within a few days, said spokesman John Miller.

Millennium Marine expanded to Eastport from Escuminac, New Brunswick, Canada, and began operations this spring with 12 workers on the payroll after renovating and equipping 40,000 square feet of space in an industrial building on the outskirts of the city. The company builds boats for the fishing industry and for other applications.

The fire started shortly after midnight, said Miller, but it was not discovered until about 6 a.m.

“Sprinklers took care of the worst of it,” said Miller, and helped contain the fire.

Firefighters from Eastport and the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point responded and remained on the scene until shortly before 10 a.m., according to Miller.

The fire originated in the bow of a boat that was under construction, he said, but the cause was not immediately determined.

The company has not been able to estimate the value of the loss, he said, although it was insured.

“There’s water damage and smoke (damage) pretty much everywhere,” said Miller. No injuries were reported.

One boat under construction was destroyed, and another filled with water and fell over.

“We’re not sure if we can salvage that or not,” said Miller.

The company employed 14 people before the fire struck, according to president and CEO Cory Guimond. However, when operations resume — hopefully next week — the shop probably will be half-staffed to start off, he said. Guimond was not sure when the remaining workers would be brought back.

“We are most thankful for a great job done by the Eastport Fire Department and a sprinkler system that worked,” he said. “We are down, but not out. We hope to resume boat building in a few days. Everyone is OK, and that is what is most important.”

An open house scheduled for July 26 was canceled; the event will be rescheduled for August or September, said Miller.

 

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