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Spencer Boatworks plans to rebuild

June 1, 2011
By CHRIS KNIGHT - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

SARANAC LAKE - Spencer Boatworks remains in business and plans to rebuild.

The main shop and office for the boat building, design and restoration business on state Route 3 in the town of St. Armand was destroyed by fire early Saturday morning.

Spencer Boatworks owner Jay Annis, in a message sent via the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, said the fire was triggered by a lightning strike that hit the building during a series of severe thunderstorms. It reduced the structure to a pile of charred rubble.

About 60 firefighters from the Saranac Lake, Bloomingdale, Paul Smiths-Gabriels, Lake Placid, Tupper Lake and St. Regis Falls volunteer fire departments battled the blaze over several hours, using between 750,000 and 1 million gallons of water.

The fire rekindled around noon Tuesday. Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department members were called to the scene and doused the debris with another 2,000 gallons of water.

In addition to the building, Annis said multiple boats, antique marine hardware, shop equipment and personal effects were lost in the fire.

He asked people to refrain from visiting the site for their own safety.

"While the building's loss is significant, there were no injuries and we are very thankful for that," Annis said. "We are also thankful that we did not lose any of the storage buildings."

Meanwhile, Annis said the company remains in business and plans to resume service work as early as today.

"I and my employees have been busy over the long holiday weekend contacting clients and making arrangements for work to continue without interruption," Annis said in an email sent to the Enterprise by his wife Stacy. "We will be utilizing existing infrastructure and our off-site facilities. Anyone seeking more information should go to our webpage for updates."

Annis said he and his employees have been "overwhelmed" by the outpouring of support from the community.

"I'd like to thank everyone for their help and particularly our dedicated employees, the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department and other responding fire departments, and my neighbor, John Curtis," he said. "We will rebuild and look forward to continuing our business as previously."



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