Two yachts were destroyed by fire in Jersey City on Thursday night and one of them was a historic 65-foot Trumpy whose makeover once earned her a place on the pages of Architectural Digest. The boats went up in flames around 9 p.m. at the Dudley Street Marina.
No one was reported hurt. The fire started on one yacht at Liberty Harbor Marina and spread to the other. A man was aboard the yacht which caught fire first. He escaped unharmed, according to news reports.
Police were investigating to determine the cause of the fire, which may have been electrical.
"I am across the canal from that marina, could see the flames but not much else and it was a sad night. Very cold, like 14 degrees. The fireboats are docked at my marina and they were there so fast, writes Daphne Kaizer Lawrence. "A friend just posted this: 'Sad to report that my customer’s liveaboard 1965 wooden Trumpy caught fire and burned last night at Liberty Point Marina in Jersey City. The fiberglass boat next to his had an electrical fire (space heater, small wiring) and it spread to his boat. Luckily he and his wife and two small children were out of town, but they lost everything'."
Scroll down for the news footage.
The owner of the 1965 Trumpy, named Paragon, is Mitchell Turnbough, a reknowned interior designer. From his website:
For 25 years Mitchell has designed bachelor pads, beach houses, and family homes for financiers, industry leaders, and countless entrepreneurs. His pragmatic design approach captures the passions and motivations of his clients in their living, working, and recreation to celebrate their accomplishments and enhance their performance...Born and raised on the Mississippi coast, Mitchell Turnbough studied at Ringling College of Art and Design. Upon graduating, Mitchell moved to New York City to pursue his passion for design.
From a 2008 article in Architectural Digest pictured above:
Some projects begin with inspiration—and some begin with desperation. Mitchell Turnbough's plan for a new residence was a project of the latter kind. "To all intents and purposes I was homeless," says the designer, who at the time was an associate partner with Bray-Schaible in New York. "The building I'd been renting in got sold, and I had to move." In a scenario familiar to anyone who has recently scanned the pages of a newspaper real estate section, he could find nothing he liked in the city at a price he wanted to pay.
But then his mother, of all people, came up with an idea. Turnbough had grown up on the Gulf Coast, in Biloxi, Mississippi, and had been messing about in friends' boats for years; why didn't he get a boat, his mother asked—a boat big enough to live on?...
He brought almost nothing with him from his previous, land-based life: only some vintage silver, photographs and a square ottoman that fit nicely into the above-deck forward lounge. His furniture and fixture purchases, however, look as if they've been aboard from the day the boat left the shipyard. In the deck lounge, he built streamlined wood bookcases to complement the original cabinetry, and in the wheelhouse, he created a design work space by installing a collapsible teak drafting table for the aft wall that seems a partner to the boat's mahogany chart file and steering bench.
And for the aft deck, which serves as a dining and lounging area, he found a teak dining table and chairs, as well as a vintage Danish low table, that might have been lifted from a yacht in one of the early James Bond films. The art—vintage black-and-white photographs and a French cruise-ship advertising lithograph from 1954—reinforces the mid-century vibe.
This is as tragic as it gets without loss of life or injury.