Firefighters from several Island towns battled a blaze in a building in the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Business Park Saturday night.
The call came at 6:40 pm, and Deb Potter, assistant airport manager, said the building was in flames when firefighters arrived. The steel frame building is on East Line Road.
Joseph Cazeault and Sons Roofers leases the building. Contractor Thornton “Chris” Chandler subleases part of it.
Firefighters from Martha’s Vineyard Airport, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, West Tisbury, and Chilmark responded to the business park, off Barnes Road, also known as Airport Road.
Firefighters used an aerial ladder to pour water on the roof. Flames were visible shooting through the roof.
Single-digit temperatures and gusting winds that redirected the stream of water from the aerial hose made the job of extinguishing the blaze very difficult for firefighters.
Mr. Chandler and his wife, Jane, arrived soon after the fire was reported. The couple watched from their car, distressed by the loss and overwhelmed by the efforts of the volunteer firefighters to save the building, its contents and to prevent the fire from spreading.
“It was fully going when I got there,” Mr. Chandler said in a telephone conversation Monday. “I was just amazed by the amount of personnel that were there and on hand in that arctic air.”
Mr. Chandler said he was a tenant and that Mr. Cazeault had moved his equipment out of the building, which was for sale.
Mr. Chandler said investigators told him that the cause of the fire was a failed power strip.
Mr. Chandler said he lost tools, supplies, equipment, computers and business files, as well as many personal items. The contents were not insured, he said.
Mr. Chandler said he has received many phone calls from people offering to help, for which he is grateful.
As he began to assess the loss, Mr. Chandler was philosophical. “I’m going to take a real hit here, but life goes on and we’ll be okay because we live in a great community,” he said.
“I want to express my sincere gratitude from the bottom of my heart to all of the men and women who came to help with the fire. It was their efforts that saved Joe’s (Cazeault) part of the building and neighboring buildings. Although we suffered a great loss, it’s nothing that can’t be replaced. I’m so grateful that no one was injured in any way.”