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Sailboat owner talks about weekend fire, future plans

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Posted at 3:02 PM, Sep 12, 2011
and last updated 2012-05-25 15:03:35-04

Over the weekend, a fire ravaged the remains of a sailboat named “Maybe Tomorrow.”

Its owner, Michael Calabrese, was saddened to find his boat-home destroyed by the flames.

“Somebody burned down my home. Now I don't have a home,” said Calabrese.

On Friday night, flames engulfed the sailboat home Calabrese shared with his girlfriend. Now, they must find residence elsewhere.

“It's horrendous that somebody would do this to somebody,” commented Calabrese.

It marks yet another tumultuous turn for the man whose trouble on the water and on land since Hurricane Irene has taken center stage.

“If you want to put it in one word, torment,” said Calabrese.

His journey started when he tried to sail from Portsmouth during Hurricane Irene to get away from the storm. He then had to be rescued in the Chesapeake Bay when their efforts failed.

The boat has been in the same spot in Ocean View where Irene’s waves left it weeks ago.

While the city put pressure on Calabrese to remove the boat, he had been unable to do so because he had been arrested three times for disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

Now this fire is just an added chapter to the saga.

When asked if there were some people who would have thought that Calabrese himself set the fire, he quickly denied those claims.

“Why would I torch something I've been working so hard to save? I did not, and if that person says anything to me, I could crush his skull,” said Calabrese who says that he knows who set his boat on fire and that he gave the information to police.

Norfolk Fire Investigators have ruled out any accidental causes.

Calabrese says that a new friend had given him a new sailboat. After he faces punishment for all of the trouble that he has gotten into since “Maybe Tomorrow” beached, he will head out of Hampton Roads and set sail for a new life—a new tomorrow.