Bay Marine, a boat storage facility in Waukegan, has reopened after an arson fire that caused over $30 million in damage and prompted the response of dozens of firefighters early last year.
The fire began around 8 p.m. on February 2 at the facility, located at 3 East Madison Street in Waukegan.
The Waukegan Fire Department responded after receiving an automatic fire alarm.
Firefighters arrived and found flames inside a very large boat storage facility, Waukegan Fire Marshal Todd Zupec said at the time.
The response was upgraded and eventually reached the fourth-alarm level through the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS).
Zupec said that fire departments responded from all over Lake, McHenry and Kenosha counties.
The alarm was upgraded to the fourth level due to extensive operations and the extreme cold the firefighters had to deal with, Zupec said.
The boats that were on fire were difficult to extinguish due to their size and accessibility.
The warehouse housed 68 boats at the time of the fire, according to the owner of the business.
Approximately 100 firefighters responded to battle the blaze in frigid conditions.
Crews spent most of the night trying to extinguish the “very difficult” fire, finally bringing it under control around 2:30 a.m., Zupec said.
No injuries were reported and no occupants were inside the building at the time of the fire.
The owner of the business said three separate fires were started inside the building by an arsonist that broke into the building.
12-15 of the boats inside the facility were a total loss. The rest of the boats were damaged and required restoration.
Damage was estimated at $30 to $40 million to the vessels and the cost to rebuild the facility was $4 to $5 million, the owner said.
The facility, which houses boats and also has office space, suffered extensive fire, smoke and water damage.
Krusinski Construction Company said they were able to repair and restore the 49,000-square-foot building in approximately five months, with restoration being finished on December 30.