GLOUCESTER — Chief Eric Smith reports that the Gloucester Fire Department extinguished a fire on a boat in dry storage at a marina today.
At approximately 12:15 p.m., firefighters responded to the Pier 7 Marina, located at 6 Cripple Cove Lane, for a report of a boat fire.
Upon arrival, firefighters located a 32-foot houseboat-style vessel with a heavy fire on the rear deck area. The boat was in dry storage and in close proximity to other boats and the owner was attempting to extinguish the flames with a garden hose.
Crews were able to quickly extinguish the flames and then made access to a below deck compartment to secure the batteries. They then flooded the below deck area with foam to ensure the fire was extinguished and to suppress potential gasoline vapors in the bilge.
They also foamed the surrounding area to ensure vapor suppression and made a hole in the stern to allow the water used by firefighters to escape, lessening the weight on the storage jacks.
Another boat stored nearby sustained significant damage to its gel coat due to the radiant heat.
Through the subsequent investigation, Gloucester Fire determined that the fire was accidental. The boat owner was pumping contaminated gasoline from the tank when a 12-volt fuel pump arced and ignited fuel in the area.
No injuries were reported in the incident.
“This was great work by our firefighters who arrived on scene quickly and knocked down the flames immediately,” Chief Smith said. “Their actions kept this fire from extending to additional vessels in extremely close proximity.”