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April 29. 2013 10:16PM

Ashland marina blaze probed

A fire that claimed 22 boats at Riveredge Marina Sunday night is being investigated by the state Fire Marshal's Office. (DAN SEUFERT PHOTO)

ASHLAND - While customers and store representatives milled about at the Riveredge Marina store Monday, state Fire Marshal's Office investigators stood near what's left of a dock marina building that burned to the waterline.

Fire broke out at the marina on Little Squam Lake Sunday about 10:30 p.m., according to Ashland Fire Department Capt. Timothy Joubert.

The fire started in a 5,000-square-foot marina building that housed 22 boats, according to the marina's owner, Barry Gaw. All the boats were lost, as was the building.

Gaw said there was no one in the marina at the time of the fire.

He praised firefighters for saving several boats docked within feet of the fire, and for preventing flames from spreading to most of the marina's buildings and boats.

"I guess the message from this is thankfulness; they saved so much," he said.

He said business will continue at the marina as the investigation of the fire proceeds.

State fire investigators said they had not yet found the cause of the blaze or the area of the building where the fire started.

They were conducting preliminary interviews with Gaw and the marina staff Monday, an investigator said.

Gaw said he hadn't calculated how much he had lost in the fire.

"I haven't begun to figure that out," he said.

Crews dropped a boom in the water to keep anything that spilled or fell into the water within the dock's small bay.

Across the bay, trees were charred as a result of the fire, possibly because of heat generated by igniting boat fuel, investigators said.


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