Mattapoisett Boatyard Fire Heroes Get the Recognition They Deserve
In the days after this summer's horrific Mattapoisett Boatyard fire, stories of heroism began to leak out. One badly burned employee, Phil Macomber, talked about four of his coworkers risking their lives to save him.
We now know who these men are.
In a rare act of humility in 2022, those four heroes chose not to go live on Instagram and share their brave actions with the world. Instead, they just returned to work, clearing the rubble at the boatyard to prepare the lot for a rebuild. Their goal was to resume as much boatyard business as possible. Meanwhile, many in the community and beyond have shown their support.
On Aug. 24, I wrote on Fun107.com: "As noble as the gesture is to remain anonymous, I'm here to say that these four deserve major recognition. Without exaggeration, they should each receive medals of honor from the governor. The new MBY buildings that will be erected in the coming years should bear their names."
That recognition came on Friday afternoon.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito took the ride down to Mattapoisett to issue certificates of bravery and heroism to the four life-savers.
Jacey Yancey, Roger Reed, Jake Clarke and Trevellis Oliver lined up to receive their commendations. The man they saved was out of the hospital, energetically clapping for them in the audience.
In its most recent newsletter, the boatyard put it this way:
No one wants to be a hero. It just happens when you least expect it. That is not to say that bravery, selflessness and courage come easily. On August 19, 2022, Roger, Jake, Trevellis and Jacey jumped into action to save the life of their friend and co-worker, Phil. They had no training, it certainly was not in their job description. Yet they put their own lives on the line for another. No questions asked. Here we are 6 weeks later and Phil is home from the hospital and expected to make a full recovery. This is indeed a miracle.
Ned Kaiser, one of the owners of Mattapoisett Boatyard, told us that while the four men were initially hesitant about getting attention for their actions, they got support and encouragement from their families.
"I talked to each of them individually about it," Kaiser said. "It's just so new, and such a different thing for all of these guys to experience, especially after the fact. None of these guys are firefighters. They never thought they'd be running into a burning building and pull somebody out when they woke up that day."
Roger, Jake, Trevellis and Jacey have each told Kaiser they think anyone would have done the same thing if they were put in that position.
"Nobody really knows unless they've been through it," Kaiser said. "You can never really plan ahead for something like that. You're just kind of living in the moment."
All four have been working full-time at the boatyard since the fire.