JEFFERSON – The showroom at MarineMax marina on Espanong Road in the township was severely damaged by fire early Wednesday morning.
According to store manager Charlie Nelson, Jefferson Township Fire Company No. 2 and Picatinny Fire Department responded quickly to a 12:30am call and the fire was “under control in less than 15 minutes” and extinguished shortly thereafter. The Jefferson fire company was
called back just before 9am when the fire rekindled but was not serious.
Nelson, who lives in Hopatcong, said a friend who lives across the cove from the marina saw flames shooting from the roof of the showroom and notified him of the fire.
The fire was contained to just the front section of a three-section building, said Nelson, thanks in part to a firewall built between the showroom and the parts and service building, and he said, to the firemen for their speedy response and skill at knocking down the fire so quickly.
The metal structure sustained mostly roof damage, which is visible from Espanong Road. Three of the four boats on display in the showroom sustained damage from the roof collapse and water damage.
A preliminary investigation by the fire department indicates the fire may have started in the neon MarineMax sign that hung on the front of the building or by one of the high hat lights under the front soffit of the building.
A work trailer that will act as a makeshift showroom is being delivered Tuesday, said Nelson. Both the showroom and the rest of the marina will be open for “business as usual” once the electric is turned on, he said.
“We will start to rebuild as soon as possible. It will be bigger and better, to better serve our customers,” said Nelson.