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Biddeford History & Heritage Project

Sharing the history of a proud city rising where the water falls

Cities of Smoke and Soot

Fire at Marblehead Boatyard, Biddeford, 1965

Fire at Marblehead Boatyard, Biddeford, 1965

Item 31103 info
McArthur Public Library

The vacant buildings at Marblehead boatyard were engulfed in flames on May 4, 1965. The boatyard was built in 1922 and sold its vessels all over the United States. However the manufacturing business that owned the property finished producing water vehicles in 1962. The Biddeford Daily Journal reported that the fire had apparently started in one of the empty shed buildings around 7:30 PM that evening.

While the total losses accumulated to around $800,000, one fireman was injured by falling through some of the burning boards. He was lodged up to his waist in the charred wood. After observations, the firefighter was dismissed from Webber Hospital (now Southern Maine Health Center), the following day. The blaze drew assistance from local communities including Kennebunkport, Goose Rocks and even Scarborough. The Biddeford Fire Department officially labeled the origins of the fire as unknown, following the investigations into the cause of the conflagration.

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