Local News

January 26, 2013

Firefighters combat Boatworks fire in bitter cold



“There was a lot of flammable material in there,” LaHart said, but initial investigation suggests that is not what started the fire.

Within minutes, flames broke through the roof of the rectangular building.

The structure is a total loss, Jaquish said, as daylight revealed a blackened steel frame coated in about six inches of white ice.


The building was listed as owned by Mill Pond Partners, which is owned by Joe Moore, the proprietor of Placid Boatworks.

Moore built Placid Boatworks as a startup in 2004 with former business partner Charlie Wilson, who retired in 2011. Wilson is former president of the American Canoe Association.

The canoes they built were hand-crafted with local materials and known for their lightweight design.

Moore told the Press-Republican there was a good amount of inventory lost in the fire.

“We had about 20 finished boats on storage racks in the back. And we build the molds for USA Luge. All of their molds were there. Those kinds of things, we’ll be able to do again. It’s just a tremendous amount of time. My guess is there’s nothing left in there of any value.”

Moore said the plan is to rebuild. The property is insured.

“We own the property there, and it’s an ideal spot for a boat shop. I foresee doing that.

“The fire departments were just phenomenal,” he added. “They do their jobs under the most adverse conditions you can imagine. We appreciate their trying to save the building.

“People have been really supportive, people offering to help, offering space. It’s really nice there are a lot of good people out there.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

“They’re still working on it,” Jaquish said late Friday. “It’s not a suspicious fire.”

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