Slideshow: Fire at old Cavalier Motel ruled arson

– Fire tore through a vacant building on the property of the old Cavalier Motor Lodge at 881 Route 28 in South Yarmouth Thursday evening. The fire broke out around 6:30 p.m. and went to two alarms bringing in crews from several surrounding towns. Firefighters took a defensive stand, fighting the fire from outside. Police closed Route 28 between Long Pond Road and Seaview Avenue because of hoses and apparatus in the street until about 8:50 p.m. There were concerns of possible homeless people “squatting” in the building but no injuries were reported. Yarmouth Police cordoned off an area near the fire scene after a “suspicious package” was discovered. The State Police Bomb Squad was requested to check that item as a precaution. The State Fire Marshal’s office has been called in to investigate the cause of the fire.

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Late Thursday evening, Yarmouth Fire department released the following statement and photo on the fire:
At 6:32 p.m. the Yarmouth Fire Department received a 911 call for a structure fire at 881 Route 28, South Yarmouth, the site of the Cavalier Motel. Due to heavy call volume two engines from Dennis and Hyannis were called immediately to help the Yarmouth Port engine that was the first to respond. A Yarmouth Ambulance returning from the hospital was the first on scene and reported heavy fire with an estimated 50% involvement.

The fire was located in a rear building on the East side of the property. The building is a long single story structure set up with numerous motel type rooms. The entire site has been vacant other than one cottage style unit who is there for security. The building involved in the fire was mainly used for storage of old furniture, mattresses and junk.

Lt. Reardon was the first officer on scene arriving with Engine 44 at 6:44PM; Lt. Reardon took command and immediately called for a second alarm for extra manpower and equipment. An aggressive exterior attack with large handlines quickly knocked down the fire.

As crews opened the door of the least damaged room a small backdraft exploded through the broken windows and door. Crews quickly applied water knocking the flames back eventually put the fire out. It took crews approximately 1 hour to completely extinguish the fire.

The Massachusetts State Police Fire Investigation Unit was called to the scene to help in the investigation. Crews are still on scene investigating this fire. Although this fire is still under investigation it is currently classified as Suspicious.

Acting Deputy Fire Chief Jon Sawyer said, “Thanks to the quick actions of the Yarmouth, Dennis, Hyannis, Brewster, Harwich fire crews the fire was quickly extinguished without any firefighter injuries”

Barnstable, Centerville-Osterville-Marston-Mills, Hyannis, Harwich and Chatham covered the Town of Yarmouth while crews were on scene. Dennis Fire Chief, Dennis Deputy Chief, Hyannis Deputy Chief and Harwich Deputy Chief also responded to the scene and supported Yarmouth’s Fire Command structure.

Acting Deputy Chief Sawyer stated, “If you have information about these fires, please call the statewide Arson Hotline at 1-800-682-9229, confidentially, 24-hours a day, or local police” The Arson Hotline is part of the Arson Watch Reward Program that provides rewards of up to $5,000 for information that helps to solve the crime of arson. The program is funded by the property and casualty insurance underwriting companies in Massachusetts.

Update: the fire has been determined to be intentionally set. A bucket that contained what appears to be gasoline was found some distance from the 7-unit, 1-story building involved in the fire. Whether it is related to the setting of the fire or not remains under investigation as it was not burned or near the fire itself. The investigative team (Yarmouth Fire and Police and State Police assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s Office) asks if anyone has any information that they please call the Arson Hotline – confidentially, 24-hours a day – at 1-800-682-9229. The Arson Hotline is a part of the Arson Watch Reward Program that provides rewards of up to $5,000 for information that helps to solve the case. It is sponsored by the property and casualty insurance underwriting companies of Massachusetts.

Media release furnished by Yarmouth Fire; Photos by CWN associate Jerry Mossey (click top and bottom photos to enlarge)
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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