Massive marina fire in Boston destroys 13 boats

9 October 2015 • Written by Philip Reynolds

An explosion at a marina in a Boston suburb caused a major fire and destroyed multiple boats. The fire broke out at Captain's Cove Marina in Quincy, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston.

Up to nine boats worth millions of dollars in total were razed in the fire and four sank, said Gary Smyth, Quincy deputy fire chief. Nobody died in fire and, as yet, there have been no reported injuries. Smyth said, “The fire was very intense. These boats can have hundreds of gallons of gasoline on them.”

Video of the Boston marina fire, below, showed boasts engulfed by flames and one of the boats sinking after being gutted by the fire.

The blaze broke out at the Captain's Cove Marina at about 7:45 am local time on Thursday, police said, and billowing black smoke could be seen for miles as 15 metre high flames shot into the sky.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but officials say it was most likely sparked by an explosion on a boat.

Fire crews from the Boston area, including a fire boat, helped bring the conflagration under control. Quincy firefighters, who had to drag their lines several hundred feet around a 10-storey apartment building, aimed their hoses from shore, whilst Quincy marine units towed other nearby boats to safety as the fire raged. Firefighters cut five boats loose and let them drift to get them away from the flames.

Fire officials said that relatively light winds made the situation more manageable than it could have been.

One couple who had just made their new home in one of the boats that was destroyed told of their lucky escape. “We lost everything,” said Tamara Silvia, owner of Sagittarius, a boat near the one that caught fire this morning. Her boyfriend, Justin Lowery, said the couple escaped just minutes before flames engulfed their boat. The couple said they had just “sold everything” in August to move onto Sagittarius full time.

Witnesses are reported to have heard two explosions, about 30 seconds apart, after the owner of the boat that caught fire tried to start it up.

One witness, Bobby Tantillo, said, “(The boat owner) tried to start it and it started smoking right away and then caught fire.” He added that people at the marina assisted firefighters, who were impeded due to the fact that the dock also caught fire.

The owner of the boat where the fire started declined to be interviewed.

The marina is reported as having capacity for 180 boats and currently has about 155 berthed there. The largest yacht it is able to accomodate is 24 metres.

After the marina fire was extinguished some of the boat owners were allowed onto the dock to inspect the damage. The charred remains of some of the fire damaged boats were visible from the shore.

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