A five-alarm fire ripped through Brunelle's Marina in South Hadley Friday morning, destroying the popular Dockside Restaurant and the rest of the building which has been in the Brunelle family for decades.
"It's heartbreaking because they've worked so hard through the years," said Lisa Papoutsakis. "First with my grandmother starting with a little shack, it's just grown through the years and we've all grown with it."
The current owner Luke Brunelle vows that he will rebuild.
"We'll figure it out. I got a good crew around me, I'm surrounded by a lot of employees - we'll put a plan together, we'll be back," said Brunelle.
The fire was reported around 6:30 a.m. Multiple crews from surrounding communities were called to assist.
"It was very difficult, it was up in the ceiling and we had a difficult time getting to it," said Capt. Brian McClaflin of the South Hadley Fire Department.
No injuries were reported and several boats were able to be pulled from the showroom before the fire spread.
"We got a lot of the boats out," said Brunelle.
Many community members and boat owners looked on as crews battled the flames saying that this marina is like a family.
"We've been coming here for probably the better part of 30 to 35 years, so these are all our friends and family and we're just going to do whatever we can to help them get over this," said Peter Marquis.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
The state fire marshal's office is investigating.
The Red Cross was on scene for much of the day assisting.
Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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