Fire ravages Bonter Marine recreational vehicle dealership in Marmora

Click to play video: 'Bonter Marine, a landmark dealership in Marmora, destroyed by fire'
Bonter Marine, a landmark dealership in Marmora, destroyed by fire
Fire destroyed Bonter Marine, a landmark business in Marmora on Tuesday morning – Apr 24, 2018

An early morning fire has destroyed a longtime recreational vehicle dealership in Marmora.

Crews responded to the blaze at Bonter Marine Inc. on Highway 7 just west of the village. OPP tweeted the highway was closed due to downed hydro lines near Marble Point Road.

A fireball from Bonter Marine on Highway 7 in Marmora. (Corey Beach photo). Corey Beach/Special to CHEX News
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Fire crews from Marmora and Lake Township, along with nearby Havelock and Stirling-Rawdon battled the blazed, focusing on the chimney area.

“It went up really quick,” said Marmora and Lake fire chief Tony Brownson. “Lots of fuels, ATV parts, tires and stuff – so it went up really fast. We had 16 firefighters from Marmora here; four from Havelock-Belmont-Methuen and four from Stirling-Rawdon fire department.”

Witness Riley Clark was across the highway when the fire broke out.

“Me and buddy over there were sitting at the door, open the doors up and and Bonter just went right up in smoke,” he said. “It was all coming out the roof there and so I figured out that must be a fire. We better call the police”

On its website, the company says it’s Canada’s oldest Polaris dealer, offering snowmobiles, ATVs and more since 1930. The longtime family business was sold last summer.

A section of Highway 7 in Marmora was closed following a fire at Bonter Marine. (Cindy Maxwell photo). Cindy Maxwell, Special to CHEX News

Ex-owner Andy Bonter was in shock seeing the building on fire. He sold the business last July but was to stay on for three years to help take it to the next level.

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“This has been our family heritage – my grandfather before my dad, my dad, my brother and I, right up to this past July since 1930,” he said. “We have five employees, full-time employees. We love our town and try to help in anyway we can and contribute.”

No one was injured.

The aftermath of Tuesday’s fire at Bonter Marine. (Dan Nyznik/CHEX News). Dan Nyznik/CHEX News

Damage is estimated at $3 million to $5 million.

The Official of the Ontario Fire Marshal has been contacted to help investigate the cause of the fire.

OPP reopened one lane of the highway around 9:15 a.m. The other lane reopened around 12:15 p.m.


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