Fire destroyed the Belgrade Boat Shop and its contents early Saturday morning, but nobody was hurt.

“It was fully involved when we got there,” Belgrade Fire and Rescue Chief Daniel McKenzie said Saturday afternoon.

He said he was the first to arrive at the site after the call came about 2:25 a.m.,

The shop is owned by Bill Redlevske, who has operated it since 2009. Redlevske’s daughter, Hailey, who works in the business, was asleep in the house next door to the shop and was rousted from her bed by a police officer.

“I was woken up at 2:30 to a policeman pounding on my door,” she said. “He came in and told me to get my slippers on.”

She was able to return to her home briefly.


“I got my boots, I got a jacket, a blanket, and I sat in the firetruck,” she said, adding that she spent the remainder of the night at her parents’ home.

The garage containing the boat shop was about 75 feet from the house, she said.

The fire did not reach the house, and firefighters worked to ensure it did not reach the outdoor oil and kerosene and gasoline tanks.

Bill Redlevske said a 13-foot Boston Whaler and two snowmobiles were in the shop when the fire broke out.

He speculated that the fire might have been caused by a battery charger along the back wall. An investigator with the Office of State Fire Marshal is expected at the scene Monday.

McKenzie said the fire did not appear to be suspicious.


Hailey Redlevske, who spent much of the early morning sitting in a firetruck to stay warm, said, “Apparently when my dad got a phone call from the neighbors, he was just worried about me. He was yelling, ‘Where’s my daughter? Go find my daughter’ — a very scary night for all of us.”

Later she said other items were destroyed in the blaze, including lost two canoes and wooden templates that Bill Redlevske’s great-grandfather had built under the name Webstercrafts, a form of his last name, Webster.

“Boating has been in the family for four generations,” Hailey Redlevske said in an email. “We lost irreplaceable history. So sad. My dad is devastated.”

The boat shop is on Route 11 about a half mile from the Oakland town line.

McKenzie said firefighters from Belgrade, Oakland, Rome and Smithfield, responded to a report of the fire and spent more than three hours working there.

“We put it out, but it was pretty well falling in,” he said.


The weather was particularly cold. “We only had one truck freeze up, but for the most part they all worked pretty good,” McKenzie said.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

Twitter: @betadams

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