Marina fire under investigation in Massachusetts

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A 40-foot Viking and two commercial vessels were destroyed Thursday afternoon by a suspicious fire at a marina in Marshfield, Mass.

The fire is under investigation by Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan’s office, according to the Boston Globe.

The blaze started just after midnight, about three hours after another suspicious fire was sparked in the rear of an unoccupied summer home in Humarock, a section of neighboring Scituate.

It remains unclear whether the fires are connected to at least 16 blazes set in unoccupied or abandoned properties in a number of communities south of Boston since September.

“We’re not speculating whether these fires are connected to the string of unsolved fires in southeastern Massachusetts,” Coan told the Globe in a phone interview. “They remain under investigation.”

Devastated by their loss Thursday, Dave and Karyn Walsh stood in the cold rain and embraced at the foot of Naut Again, charred down to its hull. The couple had dreamed about life after retirement, sailing the East Coast from Florida to Massachusetts.

“I’ve had it for 12 years,” Dave Walsh told the paper, choking back tears. “She had beautiful lines, and this is not the way I expected her to go.”

“I have a knot in my stomach,” said Karyn Walsh, comforted by her daughter, Juley Sanborn, 28. “It’s so many memories. It’s like a family member; it’s our summer home.”

The boat, now a total loss, contained irreplaceable personal belongings, including the family’s captain’s log of all of the trips they have taken, Sanborn said, making it all the more upsetting if the fire is determined to be the work of an arsonist.

Also destroyed was the Ellen Marie, a 42-foot commercial boat that Derek Chandler of Carver, Mass., purchased a few weeks ago to expand his summer tuna-fishing business. He had stored it about a week and a half ago and planned to insure it after the winter was over.

Marina co-owner John Taylor, whose family has operated the facility for 44 years, said it is rare that a fire so intense would ignite on its own at this time of year.

Another fishing boat, the Big Mac, which was between Naut Again and Ellen Marie, was destroyed, Taylor said. Four other boats stored in the same lot were damaged, Fire Chief Kevin C. Robinson said.

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