Fire destroys Kim’s Way house in Oak Bluffs

Fire destroys Kim’s Way house in Oak Bluffs

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Firefighters battled a smokey fire at 9 Kim's Way in Oak Bluffs on Tuesday. — Photo by Steve Myrick

Updated 2:35 pm, Wednesday

Firefighters from Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, and Tisbury fought a house fire on Kim’s Way in Oak Bluffs late Tuesday morning. The blaze destroyed the house at the end of a short dirt street off Wing Road.

Fire investigators later determined that the cause of the fire was an overloaded power strip located under the raised dwelling. An extension cord was connected to a recreational vehicle parked within two feet of the back corner of the house. The RV was occupied by Craig MacCormack, the owner of the house.

Mr. MacCormack was inside the vehicle when the fire began. He was not injured.

Greg and Heather Arpin were tenants in the house. They were not at home at the time, but their pet Labrador died in the fire.

Mr. Arpin is an employee of the Transportation Security Administration, assigned to the Martha’s Vineyard Airport. Ms. Arpin is a counselor at the Connect to End Violence program, operated by Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

Reached by phone the day after the fire, Mr. Arpin said it was a tough, long day. He thanked the firefighters for their response and singled out two firefighters whose names he didn’t know, who helped him and his wife go through the charred rubble looking for some important items.

“They got on their hands and knees with us, looking for my wedding band,” Mr. Arpin said, overcome with emotion.

They gave up looking only when darkness made it impossible, without finding the ring. Mr. Arpin said he intends to search some more.

The couple left Martha’s Vineyard to stay with family temporarily.

Mr. Arpin’s coworkers at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport are organizing a drive to raise money and collect donations of clothing, blankets, kitchen items, and bedding.

“Everybody is really pulling together for us,” Mr. Arpin said.

Ms. Arpin’s co-worker, Christina Costello, said people who would like to help may call her at 508-361-1987.

Fire and ammunition

Flames were shooting from the small, one-story house when the first Oak Bluffs firefighters arrived. That was not the only danger for first responders.

“On top of the big fire load,” Oak Bluffs Assistant Chief John Rose said, “there was multiple caliber ammunition going off in the building.”

At first, Mr. Rose told The Times that bullets came near the firefighters. He later said he was wrong.

Ammunition casings will explode in a fire but with no gun barrel to build pressure bullets have no velocity, according to firearms experts.

“We could see cartridges coming out of the building. It wasn’t like we needed to take cover,” Mr. Rose said.

Mr. Rose said Mr. Arpin had a large collection of guns and ammunition, all legally licensed.

Mr. Rose immediately ordered all firefighters away from the building, and they began a defensive attack, dousing the flames with high-capacity hoses from more than 50 feet away.

“We hit the structure from the outside of the building to cool it down, until we knocked everything down and the bullets stopped going off,” he said.

The immediate focus was to keep the fire from spreading to two buildings just a few feet away. Oak Bluffs firefighters called for help from Tisbury and Edgartown.

“It was great community support,” Mr. Rose said. “With school vacation, all departments are shorthanded, people are away with their kids.”

Firefighters drew water from a hydrant on Wing Road, a short distance from the fire. Oak Bluffs firefighters used their aerial ladder truck to drop several firefighters onto the roof, where they cut a vent hole, as firefighters on the ground poured water through the windows of the building.

NSTAR cut an electric line leading to the burning building.

Though the structure was still standing when the fire was out, the interior of the house was completely gutted. According to assessor’s records, the property is valued at $369,700. Mr. MacCormack could not be reached for comment.

Investigators from the state fire marshal’s office worked with their counterparts on the Island to determine the cause of the fire.


  1. so–just another good reason to have a large stash of weapons and ammunition.. All those government people coming to your house, and wow, isn’t it great, the house actually defended itself.. sent all those “government meddlers” stepin and a fetchin to get away from the home of those law abiding citizens.. Well, at least all those government meddlers wern’t revenuers, so lucky them, nobody on the fire dept. got killed..

      1. could have been. but not likely. i also have a ramset nail gun..I don’t think this is the kind of ordnance we are talking about . I think it a bit bizarre for you to suggest that the ob fire department retreated from “a 22 caliber nail gun” when the article above mentions “a large collection of guns and ammunition”:

        I often appeal to people posting here to say something coherent. you can do better than this..Please..

          1. I had a lab for 14 years.. I am saddened to think of the possibility that dog died because it’s owners had so many weapons that the fire dept couldn’t put the fire out in a timely manner

    1. Just wondering about your point. Are you trying to say that we should give up our guns since if our houses burn down there’s a chance a firefighter could get hurt should a round fire off from the heat?

      1. not at all.. just mentioning it as another risk. if one of those stray bullets hit a firefighter, where would responsibility lay ? I pay liability insurance on my car.. If it slips out of gear and smashes into a house, I am covered under my mandatory liability insurance.. If one of those rounds hit a firefighter, who would pay? Is it not reasonable to have liability insurance on guns ?

        1. If the investigation by the Fire Marshall proves what a previous commenter said about the landlord being the one responsible for running an extension cord from his tenants rented space to a trailer/mobile home unit, sure sounds to me like the landlord is your primary at fault person, if that bears out as stated….

        2. Exploding rounds of amunition do not project as if they were fired from a gun. They explode in place. It’s still dangerouse but stop making it sound like the bullets were flying around like a warzone. It’s the same as if they had propane tanks.

        3. I guess we should get rid of our spray paint cans and whipped cream in the fridge too since they are under pressure and may explode in fire, says it on the can. Also batteries too! Maybe a Duracell lawsuit.

          1. well, you can get to ridiculous..certainly propane tanks are a real threat..

            you belittle the firefighters with comments like this.. as far as the comments about no muzzle velocity, i think most of the gun toter’s say that an unloaded gun is useless. Presumably at least some of the guns were loaded..( “common sense” ) when that ordinance explodes, it does have muzzle velocity. Again, I am not advocating “taking away” guns from responsible people.. Just pointing out some of the downside.. And really, if you have a gun to “keep you safe” does having 20 or 30 keep you safer ?

          2. ” And really, if you have a gun to “keep you safe” does having 20 or 30 keep you safer/” Yes, about 20 or 30 times safer. An unloaded gun is useless but that is no reason to keep it loaded in a house. It takes about a second to slap in a mag in a semi auto; a tad longer for a Joe Biden shotgun. The only time a loaded weapon is safe is when it’s under your ( no; not you; Don X3 12) control.
            Paint cans are far more dangerous in a fire than ammo as they contain flammable products and basically work like napalm when they expolde.
            Whip Cream cans contain N2O2 nitrious oxide, ( laughing gas) which is basically an inert gas which needs an oxidizer to combust.
            In a house fire even a fire extinguisher can explode ; especially the older all metal types, even worse were the old glass carbon tetrachloride “grenades”.
            I’m not belittleing fellow smoke eaters either, been there done that. I have the utmost respect for our local volanteer fire depts.

          3. Whether having 2 or 20 or 200 guns will keep one safer is a question only to be asked and answered by the gun owner himslef. Not you.

          4. unless someone breaks into his house, steals those 200 guns and sells them to criminals.. Then it has to do with me.. Where do all those criminals with guns get them ?

          5. My advice: Get armed and protect yourself from all the criminals with guns. Don’t rely on the Democrats to protect you or the Constitution.

          6. Do you rely on the republicans to protect you and the constitution.? I believe it was the Bush administration that trampled on the constitution with the patriot act, data mining and wiretaps on phones. incarceration without a trial… remember ? And lets not forget the torture..
            I sincerely hope you don’t mistake your wife for a criminal some night. Happens you know..

          7. Don, I like you. You are smart and civil, usually. Perhaps I made an error by implying that since Democrats always trample on the Constitution, Republicans trample on it significantly less. As a rule, Republicans do respect (or fear true conservatives) marginally more, but not much more. Please, don’t misunderstand me. Time and time again the Republican Party has grown and bloated the state as badly as the Democrat Party. This week will be a perfect example. The Republican majority House has the potential to de-fund the ever-growing monstrosity of Obamacare on Thursday. The Republicans have the power of the vote, but the party leadership has said otherwise, and so, by default, Obamacare will become the spawn of both parties.

            As to mistaking my wife for an intruder, when I look at my checkbook sometimes I think my wife IS the burgler in the house. Or maybe it’s that crook on the high school basketball team. I should put up a camera.

          8. “Don, I like you. You are smart and civil, usually”

            you know, that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me (on this forum :)

            I really appreciate the comment that both parties are at fault. Kudos’s to you for acknowledging the obvious.

            I of course think Obamacare is a good thing, could be better, but he compromised..

            I really appreciate your sense of humor about the wife and the checkbook..

            I was of course referring to the tragic story (either way) of Oscar Pistorius

            and Reeva Steenkamp. I don’t need to drive the point further. Thanks for the humor..

        4. I would say a qualified yes. Although I don’t know the statitiscs for firefighters hurt or killed by ammunition fired off as a consequence of heat from a burning home, I do know that baseball bats used as weapons injure and kill many people each year. Perhaps each bat should be insured too. And cast iron frying pans. Perhaps you’ve hit on a new stimulus plan worthy of Jack Lew. For the low information citizen, Jack Lew is Obama’s economic whiz kid. Let’s insure everything that has even the romotest possibility of causing injury. I, jest, of course.

          1. I think in some way, every company that makes anything has liability insurance.. The lawyers get pretty creative about who they sue for what. But really, insuring guns would would create a lot of jobs, and perhaps even a billionaire or 2.( we need more billionaire “job creators” right ? )
            Automobiles are insured to cover losses by people who are either irresponsible, negligent, or just plain incompetent. –just about all automobile accidents are preventable– Since I have been driving for over 40 years and have never had an accident, I am paying for someone Else’s
            mistake. That money goes to the victims of some person’s mistake.
            I don’t see why the people of Aurora Co. have to have a bake sale for victims of a mass shooting, when if they were in an automobile accident, they would be getting insurance money.. And, yes I know a victims fund was set up.

            Also, what does Jack Lew have to do with anything about this, except to be associated with Obama, and a new target for the conservatives? I myself will get a little chuckle when i see that looooooooopy signature on my money..

          2. Just a question for you: Where would you draw the line on insurance? At what product or what service? Are you stopping with guns? On the premise that they “kill” and “injure?” I would like your list of all the products and services, which kill and injure, which both consumer and producer should insure by law.

          3. Don’t know why your last comment to me got deleted, but i saw it.
            lets just take a look at the insurance thing. I am guessing that you might like the concept of “personal responsibility” perhaps we agree there.. But in the big bad world, sometimes bad things happen to good people. The insurance industry evens out the risk for individuals in our society. If I buy life insurance i.e. “personal insurance” and I don’t die this year, I am not angry at the insurance co. for winning the bet. If someone can’t navigate a roundabout and runs into my car, they are required to have insurance to cover the damage they caused. If someone who has a legal gun can’t handle their anger, and starts shooting after the bars close on circuit ave (hope b4jaws is reading) and hits my innocent bystander daughter with a stray bullet, why should I have to depend on the community to have bake sales to pay her medical bills ? Both the gun and the car are dangerous why insure one and not the other?

            I can’t think of any type of insurance that is legally required for both producer and consumer. Suffice it to say, as A contractor, I have to have worker’s comp and Liability insurance. My doctor, dentist, electrician, plumber, etc. are all required to have insurance. And their basic purpose is not to kill and maim.

            So just a question for you: why should guns, and gun owners be exempt ?

          4. Have you ever purchased a homeowner’s policy ‘dondondon12’? One of the questions asked is are there firearms on the premises. (in addition asking if there is a pool, trampoline, or dog) Policies carry standard limits for the replacement of firearms, and the liability portion covers the actions of the owner of the property. So responsible law abiding gun owner’s actions ARE already covered by their homeowner’s policies. I’d like to see some ambulance chasing lawyer try to sue a law abiding homeowner when he pops off a few rounds and takes out a burglar. I doubt any jury would side with the perp.

          5. we do insure everything that has even the remotest possibility of causing injury. Guns are the exception.

            I disagree that the stimulus plan was a failure. Show me an economic indicator that is not better today than before the stimulus.

          6. Real inflation, that is, when you account for energy and food, is soaring. The government accounting method cleverly bypasses these two most crucial sectors. The value of the dollar plummets every day. The artificial interest rates have, in the words of the fake Indian senator Warren, “hammered” retirees who saved and planned and whose nest egg collects dust not income.

          7. “real inflation” –what does that mean ? congress decided in 1980 to take food and oil prices out of the equation..Did anyone in the Reagan administration complain about this ? How about anyone in either Bush admin ? As for energy prices, solar and wind have dropped dramatically over the past 30 years.. You cleverly ignore renewable energy’s dramatic price drop. And looking at food– apparently corn (worlds # 1 crop ) is so cheap we feed it to pigs and burn it in our energy hog vehicles.

            Some of your arguments can be subjective “stimulus failed” but new york times article disputes that –“While Republicans have derided the 2009 stimulus as a failure, the consensus among economists has been that it helped stave off deeper job losses and supported a modest recovery.” –new york times march 15 2012–

            But I have no idea where you come up with “The value of the dollar plummets every day”

            The currency market goes up and down all the time..

            But I checked..

            When you say “The value of the dollar plummets every day.” you are wrong. Not just on the concept that it changes regularly, but in the general context also..

            So some facts about the value of the dollar.. Of course you can find some third world country that the dollar is falling against.. But , lets compare it to the biggest economies of the world — (china does not count, as they are communist and do not adhere to the practices of the free market.) so we have the worlds second biggest economy ( the euro) In March of 2009, when the stimulus was just starting to take effect, a euro cost $1.25, today, it cost $1.29. But, it cost $1.50 on nov 27 th 2012..

            or let’s compare it against the yen (Japan–worlds 3rd largest economy)

            on Jan second 2009, a dollar bought 90.7 yen.. Today , a dollar buys 93.2 yen.. to look at more recent history, on jan 2 2013, a dollar bought 76.8 yen– today it buys 93.2 .. We can have a discussion about subjective things, like whether the stimulous plan worked, but you are clearly wrong with your statement that “The value of the dollar plummets every day” It is that kind of erroneous ideological driven rhetoric with no basis in fact that divides us.

          8. The date at which energy and food were removed from the inflation tally does not change the reality of how real life inflation actually works. Normal, everyday people who drive 100 miles a day for work are getting – cue Granny Warren – “Hammered.” Try comparing your grocery bill today to when King Obama was first coronated in 2009. On Friday we learned that personal income in the United States experienced its largest one month decline in 20 years.

            As to the falling American dollar, the best indicator is how the buck fared against the currency of our largest trading partner – that would be – Canada. And the Yankee dollar has done very poorly against the Loonie in the last generation. (Don, you and I are old enough to speak in terms of generations) What used to be a constant premium on the American dollar of 20 to 30 percent (and sometimes more) has fallen to below par. Just last week the American dollar was worth only 98 cents Canadian.

            And please, quoting the New York Times as the source for objective news is like calling Jay Carney today’s Edward Murrow.

            Sure, the price of solar panels to power up a vacation cabin have dropped – thanks to our climbing debt to China – but the amount of power generated by all of these renewables with trillion dollar hidden costs to the taxpayer are laughingly negligible when compared with the actual power needs of the country. Without the massive tax credits – which is a camouflaged term for direct cash taken from taxpayers and given to private companies – the solar and wind power industries would not exist. No investor would willingly put his money there only to see it blow or burn away. But with cozy company with government, these industries pick our pockets every day. Come on, say it with me: Cape Wind.

            Don, things are really bad, and getting worse, and the guys running things in the White House are steering us into the shoals with intent, even as the King says it’s only raining, while he pees on our legs.

          9. Wrong…..the economy tanked in 2003 when the fed started controlling interest rates on the money they needed to borrow to fund two wars. 2003 the dollar was 50 per cent higher than it is now. I was in Canada enjoying a 59 cent exchange rate when Bush bombed Iraq. In 2000 the Euro started out as 85 cents on the dollar. The only way we can get any relief will be to get our strong dollar back., but we know that will never happen because Congress needs to borrow a trillion a year at a low interest rate set by the Fed that is run by congress.I guess when theres a treasury auction and no one buys at the low interest rate the fed buys them and adds it to their debt. Right now Fed. reserve debt is 5-6 trillion. If the free market set the rates we would have what we had with Jimmy Carter .

          10. great.. you are making a good point for me here. this thing about currency started when Johnathan stated that the “dollar plummets every day” I pick a few countries to compare to, and pick a few points and show the dollar is getting stronger.. You pick a different country, a few points, and show the dollar getting weaker.. The point is, when people make a statement like the “dollar drops every day”, it is just not true, and it is divisive.
            Also a strong dollar drives the price of oil up and makes our products more expensive for foriegn markets … careful what you wish for..

          11. Don, the buying power of the American dollar is dropping every day and has for the last six years or so. When you factor in all the components, we are all much poorer today, regardless of the Dow. What Bush began, and what Obama continued with even a greater ferocity (and please, don’t make the argument that the Fed is independent) was monetizing the national debt. By definition, that impoverishes everyone.

          12. “buying power” is different than “The value of the dollar”

            And I am not so sure you are correct there..What kind of data points are you using to come to that conclusion ?

          13. I wish for it every day, the price of a gallon of gas in 2000 was 1.50 gallon.

          14. again, when we play “statistic god” we pick our data points..

            Yes, gas was $1.50 in 2000. But after just 7 1/2 years of Bush administration policies, in july of 2008 , it hit it’s all time high–no inflation factoring–of $4.17 a gallon — an almost 15 % gain every year.
            After a little more than 4 years of Obama..It is now at $3.72, About an average 3 % yearly drop, and that’s while people are screaming at Obama because of rising gas prices.Again, inflation not figured in here. If gas prices are your issue, based on my data points, you should be for a constitutional amendment to let Obama run a third term ! :) :) !
            So my point is that anyone can come up with a point in time or space on almost any topic and call it “proof” of their opinion.
            What I view as a problem is when someone uses sweeping generalizations (dollar plummets every day) or negative adjectives associated with people or things they view negatively.. “king obama’s coronation” or the usual “socialist, communist, freedom hater”, “fake Indian warren” etc, for instance. Rhetoric like that fans the fires of partisan divide.. And that is what is REALLY bad for the country. Words have impact, and if you care about your country, you should stick with the facts, articulate your opinions carefully and not resort to 5 th grade style name calling..

            And I am not just saying this to you..

        5. The premise that mandatory liability insurance to drive a car should cause the state to require the same for guns has a fatal flaw. The state has no business requiring automobile liability insurance either. And some states do not.

    2. Insurance is not bad concept. But should not each person insure himself against the potential pitfalls of life, that is, insuring oneself, so if one is injured or made ill, by whatever source, coverage is there? In your model, each of us would be taking out liability insurance policies against almost everything, simply to protect our assets from judgment. The trial lawyers and insurance companies would love that, but liberty loving people surely would not.

      1. In addition to my homeowner’s insurance, I have an umbrella liability policy that protects me from damages up to $1 million if someone is injured or dies on my property. It is not mandatory, but in this litigious society with skyrocketing medical costs it is often recommended. Also, the cost is relatively modest.

        1. You are a prudent person, and look at things as they are, not as we would want them to be. The ultimate direction of the right way is a less litigious society, not more comprehensive insurance.

  2. Folks please respect the fact that this couple lost their beloved pet and all of their possessions. The power cord was not theirs, rather their Landlord running a under gauged extention cord to a mobile home at the back of their rented home. Negligence yes…..and much more a tragedy for a young couple. Big thanks to the Fire Department Team…..true professionals who risk their lives to protect us all.

    1. while the details of this tragic event are coming in. please respect the process of figuring out what happened,, yes the dog died..possessions were lost, no disrespect here. You however are not the judge.. And i agree, the fire dept people are awesome…

      1. He’s not trying to be the judge…he is reporting facts straight from the fire marshal’s mouth.

  3. Can a landlord put a clause in his or her lease that prohibits tenants from keeping guns and ammunition on the property, even if they are legally licensed?

    I do extend my sympathy to the couple whose Labrador perished in this fire.

  4. I know the renters and I am deeply saddened of the lose of Jesse their dog. Also the renter is a responsible licensed gun owner and MA State Police Certified Firearms instructor !!!! Jesse did not die because firefighters had to wait. the house was already engulfed with smoke and flames. Jesse the dog died due to the owner of the property overloading an extension cord that he connected to his mobile home from the house (That is if that’s what the outcome of the fire is declared to be by the fire Marshall).

  5. For all the anti gun experts… Remember.. Without the chamber pressures you get far less muzzle velocity. Ammunition does not have close to the same punch when igniting in an open environment. Also probably shouldn’t let fear guide you. If we all did that who would have put the fire out?

    1. Actually there is no muzzle velocity due to no muzzle. When rounds cook off in a fire it is the shell caseing that becomes the the more “dangerous” projectile as it has less mass and therefore travels faster and farther. The worst case scenario for most common ammo would be an eye injury of an unshielded eye.

      1. I’m so happy you are able to comprehend. But the bullet still flies. And the injury can be much more severe than an eye injury. You will lose alot of energy in casing expansion and possibly splitting of the casing. But still potentially dangerous.

        1. Not really. the bullet only goes a very short distance with most common calibers. It also depends on the position of the ammo. As most cartridge boxes are filled with the projo faceing down it is the spent shell that pops up. This is usually the case in house fires. Loaded mags are a whole different scenario. I’ve seen plenty of ammo cook off in fires. Getting hit wearing bunker gear stings less than a paint ball or airsoft pellet in a tee-shirt.

  6. I think we know how this discussion of exploding “X” will eventually end: Some poor first responder will be killed and it will be proven that it was “X.” Then, in self defense, the responders will insist that homes with “X” on the property be so designated so that they don’t walk into these situations unknowingly. This happened after endless roof collapses. Now we see new structures with the sort of roof structure designated on the side of the building.

  7. dondondon12, please stop posting, you are only irritating those with common sense. You are an obvious gun hater so please stop trying to get us all to hate guns.
    There was a tragic fire, please post your sympathies and move on to something else.

  8. These people lost their home, all their possessions, except the clothes on their backs that day as they went to work and they lost their “family member Jesse”… and all you can do is make this about the fact that he had guns and ammo in the house. Are you kidding me?? like “pearl_Diver” said “stop trying to get us all to hate guns”.. This is NOT about guns, so please just give your thoughts and prayers for them at this sad time and leave your negative comments out. Thanks!!! And Thank you to ALL the firefighters for doing such a dangerous job!!!

    1. Really someone has the nerve to not like this comment, seriously…..must be the negative comment guy, who esle would be so heartless

  9. To the Arpins: I’m also saddened that you lost your dog ,your belongings and your collection. I know I would be devastated. Stuff can be replaced eventually but a dog is like family.
    To the editors and Mr. Rose, kudos for ammending the article as to the ammo cooking off.

  10. Everyone has a right to express their opinion….and far be it for me to tell someone their opinion is wrong, I respect that right provided under the law. However, judgement and true compassion for your fellow man should find its way into the chosen point we opine. I am sure at anytime and with any subject Gun Law, Gay Rights, Abortion and the price of tea in china (there’s a topic for you) can be inserted into that conversation. But a measure of restraint through the vail of decency should provide you guidance as you select your choice of topics to bring to the table. A young couple in the early stages of building their lives together adopted a Shelter Dog and gave him a loving home, one he felt comfort in and with his new family. And as noted “Jesse” provided a loving and protective relationship as only a good dog can.

    This young generous couple went off to work this day to provide their services to their community in the airport security and with helping victims in their community with Domestic Violence.

    They rush home 3hours later to witness the loss of their much loved pet and ember of their family and the devastating loss of all of their possessions. EVERYTHING…think about that for just a quick brief pause….Everything.

  11. This house is right next to my parents house. The video didn’t load right away so I was reading the article so damn fast trying to figure out what house it was.