TRAPPE — A fire that started in the interior of a 38-foot Elco Motor Boat that was being worked on in the Abreu Boatworks grew out of control and ultimately burned down the building, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal who released a report on Monday. The business is located at 28985 Sanderstown Road.
Late Friday about 4 p.m., November 22, Abreu Boatworks owner Andrew Abreu realized something was burning in the boat and attempted to extinguish the flames, but could not, according to the report.
The fire rapidly grew out of control.
Ninety firefighters from 14 companies fought to contain the fire for 90 minutes, including those from Trappe, Oxford, Easton, Cambridge, St. Michaels, Cordova, Linkwood, Queen Anne-Hillsboro, Church Creek, Denton, Preston, Tilghman, East New Market and Hurlock, along with Talbot County Emergency Medical Services., specifically Paramedic 93, and local police.
No injuries were reported and the fire marshal determined the cause of the blaze was accidental. A note on the report stated the investigation revealed that contractors had just recently left the premises after completing a work detail.
The 100-by-50-foot framed pole building and contents were completely destroyed.
The fire marshal estimated the loss of the building to be $250,000, and the contents at $1 million.
Dating from 1936, the Elco motor boat was a classic. Three other historic wooden boats were destroyed, along with a collection of specialty tools used in boat restoration.
Andrew Abreu founded the business, which specializes in wooden boat restoration, repairs, new builds and 3D design. He is a graduate of The Landing School of Boatbuilding and Design, in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Abreu and his shipwright employees have restored many local historic, classic, and replica vessels, including the large Chesapeake Bay buyboats Mister Jim and Georgie E., and the 1958 cruising yawl, Minots Light II.
He and his wife Jocelyn bought the property on Sanderstown Road in 2017. They have three children.
Within the last week, family friend Wendy Cain Basil organized a GoFundMe page to help the Abreu family. Several others have joined her, including Alison Delp, Alexis Ashby, Sarah Baynard, Susan Jones and Jocelyn Abreu.
To donate to the family, visit https://www.gofundme.com/ and do a search on “Abreu Family Fund” of Trappe, Maryland.