Mystic—Firefighters from multiple agencies in the surrounding region responded to a big blaze that broke out at Seaport Marine on Washington Street just before 9 p.m. on Sunday evening and caused the destruction of two structures.
Early on Monday morning, Mystic Fire Chief Anthony Manfredi Jr. reported that the wind-driven fire did not cause any injuries to civilians, but that one firefighter had to be transported to the hospital for evaluation. Residents living in the area were also required to leave their homes because of the fire.
At 8:56 p.m., the fire was reported, and when the firefighters arrived, Manfredi stated that there was “a lot of fire,” and he was concerned that the incident could spread to other homes, especially those on Willow Street. He activated four alarms, which resulted in assistance arriving from departments in the nearby area.
At 9:50 p.m., it was possible to make out enormous flames and thick smoke emanating from the interior of the property. At around 10:10 p.m., the location of the blazing fire, which appeared to be rising in size, was just south of the end of Cottrell Street, which is where a number of large boat sheds and an office are located. As people in Groton congregated on the other side of the Mystic River to watch the fire, they could hear many explosions coming from the direction of the blaze.
The fire was being fought with water being poured on from ladder trucks. At 10:45 p.m., it appeared as though the firemen were getting a handle on the fire since there was less smoke and flames. This morning at 12:30 a.m., the fire was under control but had not yet been put out completely.
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According to Manfredi, the fire completely gutted a huge storage and office building and severely damaged a home that was located nearby. According to him, the state fire marshal was on their way to help with the inquiry into what caused the incident. Firefighters from Norwich were also dispatched to the scene, and a video that was uploaded to Facebook and shared by Norwich Firefighters Local 892 depicted a big fireball near the southernmost end of Cottrell Street.
Late on Sunday night, the Deputy Chief of Police for the Stonington Police Department, Todd Olson, stated that he was unaware of any injuries being caused by the fire. Residents of neighboring homes and buildings, including the Whaler’s Inn, where the fire alarm was still screaming at 11:20 p.m., were evacuated by the police, according to what he claimed, and Route 1 and other nearby routes were blocked as a precaution.
Eversource reported that there were 158 customers who were without power as of 12:37 a.m. despite the fact that power was off in the neighborhood. In addition to its convenient location alongside the Mystic River, the 122-slip marina that houses Red 36 is a popular dining destination. In the late hours of Sunday night, the restaurant did not catch fire.
Marianne Jasmine, who stated that her boat is docked at the marina, mentioned that after learning about the fire, she made her way down to Mystic River Park. She mentioned that the flames were so high that embers were hitting individuals who were in the park. After then, they were required to leave the park.
The incident was the most significant one to occur in the downtown area of Mystic since March of 2000 when a nighttime fire completely gutted a structure on West Main Street that had been housing eight different companies right next to the drawbridge. In 1960, a fire near Seaport Marine caused the destruction of 15 local businesses in addition to a movie theater. The Holstein family currently owns Seaport Marine; however, they only just parted ways with their other marina, the 155-slip Noank Shipyard, and sold it to Epum Holdings.
Harry Boardsen, the general manager of Seaport Marine, stated that he and his family will continue to own and operate both Seaport Marine and the second facility owned by the company, Bridgeport Boatworks, even after the deal was completed. Boardsen stated that he and the Holsteins were excited about the prospect of the Seaport Marine property undergoing additional development.
In 2019, the family proposed a major redevelopment of the 11-acre Seaport Marine property that would have been known as Smiler’s Wharf. The plan called for the addition of 120 more slips, a 45-room hotel, a marine services building, a second restaurant, a public park and walkway, and housing; however, the family withdrew the proposal in the face of opposition.
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