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UPDATE: Firefighters called to boatyard blaze on Boulters Island

George Roberts

George Roberts

Firefighters called to blaze on Ray Mill Island

A boathouse has been completely destroyed in a fire in Maidenhead.

The Peter Freebody and Co boathouse on the northern tip of Boulters Island was engulfed in flame at around 8am this morning.

No one was in the boathouse during the incident, but the building, made mostly of wood and corrugated metal, was completely destroyed

About 20 firefighters were on the scene from around 8am, and had fully put out the blaze by 11.30am (photo below by Frankie Ward).

Greg Morton, a member of the council's parks team who called the fire brigade, said: "It was a big, big fire.

"We saw the big plumes of smoke and came running over."

Nigel Dunn, a nearby resident, added: "It's so shocking that it just went up in flames."

The fire was so large that thick plumes of smoke were clearly visible from Maidenhead town centre about two miles away.

The boathouse, which according to one resident had been standing for 'at least 35 years', is owned by Peter Freebody and Co, a boat building business based in Hurley.

Peter Freebody and Co is aware of the fire but has not yet responded to a request for comment.

At least five fire engines and two fire service boats were on the scene, and after the flames were extinguished the firefighters slowly and methodically worked their way around the site, dousing small fires.

The firefighters pumped water out of the River Thames to help put out the inferno.

Two small rowing boats, which somehow survived relatively intact, were pulled out from the rubble by the firefighters after the flames had subsided.

It is not yet clear how the fire started.

Black smoke could be seen from several miles away before the fire was brought under control and the island remains closed off past the restaurant.

At least five fire engines are still at the scene, as well as police officers.

Updates to follow.

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  • Anlbe

    15:03, 09 August 2018

    err, it's not on the northern tip of the island there are three further houses to the north and Peter Freebody hasn't commented because he sadly died in 2010. His children Richard, Melanie, Katie and Helen now run the company

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