Brunelle's Marina celebrates opening one year to the day of fire - KCTV5

Brunelle's Marina celebrates opening one year to the day of fire

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SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WSHM) -

One year ago Saturday, Brunelle's Marina was destroyed due to an electrical fire.

Fast forward to now, it was a day of celebration on the water.

"Three hundred sixty-five days later, we're back," Luke Brunelle, owner of the marina, stated.

Brunelle was all smiles Saturday, as his facility held its grand re-opening exactly one year to the day that a fire destroyed his marina and Dockside restaurant.

Brunelle told CBS 3 that he was determined to see this day happen.

"My family has been here for a long time," said Brunelle. "We wanted to get back in business. I was asked last year by some news crew, what are you going to do?  I said we're going to figure it out."

For Brunelle, the business is a sense of family pride.  His father built the original buildings, which opened in May 1960.  

"My dad is in his 80s here," Brunelle said. "We built this building back to dedicate to my dad and his brother. It's quite an accomplishment."

The re-opening is also welcomed by loyal marina customers.

Right now, the facility has 140 boats in the water, including the boat that belongs to Lance Bartosz.

"We love this place," Bartosz stated. "The family is wonderful to us. Our kids love the water. It feels like a little piece of heaven down here. It was tough having it gone."

Getting the business up and running again in one year's time was not an easy task.

Brunelle said it could not have been done without other companies making his marina priority one.

"They said we're doing much bigger projects right now, but Luke yours is taking precedence because we're trying to get you up and running," said Brunelle. "That really means a lot when you have a team like that behind you."

Along with the help from other businesses, Brunelle said they had to fight Mother Nature.

He said the harsh winter weather, as well as frozen ground, put the project behind by about four weeks.

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