NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — A three-alarm fire that started early Tuesday morning in the Wickford Shipyard left the building at 125 Steamboat Ave. destroyed and two local businesses displaced.
“At approximately 4:07 (a.m. Tuesday morning), the North Kingstown Fire Department was called to the Wickford Shipyard at 125 Steamboat Avenue for the report of smoke coming from the building,” North Kingstown Fire Chief Scott Kettelle said in a statement to the media. “Upon arrival companies found heavy smoke coming from the upper floors of the building making access to the fire difficult for firefighters.”
The NKFD was assisted with mutual aid, as fire departments in Warwick, West Warwick, Narragansett, East Greenwich and Exeter were dispatched to the scene of the three-alarm blaze. Fire boats from Newport, Warwick and Cranston assisted from the water, and helped to provide engines on the scene with water due to limited hydrant access in the area.
No injuries were reported from the scene, as no one was in the building at the time the fire began, and Kettelle said firefighters were able to prevent the fire from reaching two large fuel tanks containing 3,500 gallons of gasoline and 2,500 gallons of diesel fuel as well as several boats in the area, however the building itself was a “total loss.”
The building was home to two businesses, Coastal Ironworks and G. W. Zachorne Jr. & Sons Boat Builders, a wooden shipbuilding and repairs company which, according to reports from multiple media outlets, suffered losses of antique boat building tools dating back to the 1930s as well as a boat that was being worked on in the structure.
A cause of the fire is yet to be determined.