SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WGGB) — A South Hadley landmark went up in flames Friday morning.
Brunelle’s Marina is considered a total loss after a strong morning fire burned through the structure.
“My mother and father started this marina back in 1957 and it has been part of my life.”
The marina that Joan Lemiuex’s parents built is in ruins after fire ravages the iconic landmark.
“My granddaughter called me and said grandma ‘Are you okay?’ Cause I’m in a camper down here and I said yes…well the marina is on fire,” Lemiuex adds.
The fire broke around 6:30 Friday morning. Fire crews worked fast to salvage what they could, including several boats in the showroom
“We were able to get a couple of them out. The family was here. We worked with them. We tried to get the stuff out of the garage to save what we could from the warehousing area on the building, but it seems as though the fire was generated in the restaurant area to begin with,” says South Hadley Fire Capt. Brian McClaflin.
Luke Brunelle, owner of Brunelle’s Marina, notes, “I heard the fire alarm go off and as you see behind me, I came over and the building was full of smoke…looks like a lot of damage…looks like a total loss.”
Firefighters took a defensive position, shooting jets of water down into the smoldering structure and getting help from neighboring communities
McClaflin adds, “We got Eastampton…Holyoke District 2…Amherst is here, so we got multiple units here because it’s just hot and quite extensive.”
For the owners, it’s just another setback in a what has been a difficult time for popular gathering spot
“We’ve been through floods. We have been through a tough season already. We are going to rebuild,” Brunelle notes.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the South Hadley Fire Department and the state fire marshal’s office.