Wickford Shipyard is home to woooden sailboat builder George W Zachorne Jr and Sons
A fire at Wickford Shipyard in Rhode Island early Tuesday morning destroyed the building housing George W Zachorne Jr and Sons, a builder of wooden sailboats since the 1980s, as well as Coastal Ironworks.
“Every boat with a wooden mast around here was built there,” Scott Duckworth, who himself had two boats launched from the shop about two weeks ago, told the Providence Journal. “There are very few people left in the state who still work [wooden antique boats] like that and do it true to the craft.”
In addition to the building, at least three boats were destroyed and several others damaged.
North Kingstown Fire Chief Scott Kettelle said there were concerns about environmental damage.
He said that the Department of Environmental Management was called in to assess the environmental impact of oils and other chemicals going into the water and to develop a containment strategy.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) said there was minimal impact to the water and that catastrophe was avoided when a 6,000-gallon tank of diesel and gasoline next to the building was spared by the flames.
No one was injured in the blaze, which took more than three hours to bring under control.