Mayotte's recovering from barn fire

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GUILFORD — Despite a barn fire Friday night that destroyed some crucial equipment, Mayotte's Tree Service on Bonnyvale Road is still in business.

"I've got a lot of work lined up," said Chuck Mayotte on Tuesday during a visit to the Reformer after stopping in at Pete's Tire Barn in Chesterfield, N.H., to price out some replacements for tires that were destroyed in the blaze.

Unfortunately, said Mayotte, not being a computer guy, he's had to rebuild his client list from memory, which was also burned in the fire.

"I've remembered most of them," he said.

Mayotte, and his wife, Susan, started the tree business in 2000.

"I've been doing tree work for 47 years, mostly with Asplundh before starting the business," he said. Now Mayotte employs three full-time employees and a handful of part-timers.

"Friday was just a routine day," he said. "I plugged in one of my diesel pick-up trucks and was watching the news when my

dog jumped."

But Mayotte didn't think anything of it until his dog jumped a second time.

"I ran into the kitchen and looked out the window to see my barn was up in flames," he said.

He called 911 and then called his son to help him get the heavy equipment out of harm's way. A neighbor on Maple Hill Drive also rushed in to help.

As far as the fire investigator can tell, said Mayotte, the fire started after he plugged the 2002 truck in, and was a short either in the plug or the block heater.

"The bad thing is I just had that truck completely overhauled," he said.

The loss totaled somewhere between $80,000 and $110,000, and includes tools, the pick-up truck, a stump grinder and the barn itself.

Mayotte said most of the heavy equipment was not damaged by the fire, which means his residential and commercial customers won't see an interruption in service.

"The heat was getting to it, but the fire department got there in time to cool that barn down," said Mayotte. "Without the fire departments, we wouldn't have saved the house or the other barns. They did a fabulous job. I'm proud of them."

Making the recovery a little difficult is the number of insurance policies he is dealing with. He has one on his home, which received heat damage; another for the truck; and a third for the equipment, tools, tires, barn and other business supplies.

"It's been a learning experience," said Mayotte.

If you're on Mayotte's client list and he hasn't reached out to you, he can be contacted at 802-258-0500.

Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 151, or raudette@reformer.com.

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