A Port Orchard marina fire destroyed several boats at the Yacht Club early Sunday morning. The fire was spotted just before 3 a.m. by a paramedic passing by the marina as he was taking a patient to Harrison Hospital in Bremerton, according to San Francisco Gate.
Officials with S. Kitsap Fire & Rescue said the medic called 911 as other reports began pouring in as well, prompting a call for several fire agencies to respond to the marina. In all, over 50 firefighters from Kitsap County, Bremerton, North Mason County, and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard were on hand to douse the flames at the Port Orchard Marina Yacht Club.
Firefighters had to run hoses about 1,000 feet to reach the burning boats — three-to-four of which were already engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived, officials said. It took about two hours to extinguish the fire.
In all, six boats were destroyed along with their houses in the Port Orchard marina fire, according to fire officials.
One of them was a 1963 43-foot Tollycraft that provided a lifetime of cherished moments for Dwight Mason and his family now gone.
“I think it hurts; it’s kind of like part of your family,” said Mason. “A lot of memories so yeah.”
Luckily no one was hurt in the fire, officials said.
Four other boat houses were damaged, but officials said 38 other boats were saved by firefighters, including David and Barbara Letson’s boat.
“That’s what saved us otherwise I think it would have been gone in two minutes,” said Barbara Letson.
The U.S. Coast Guard and Department of Ecology are on the scene for the investigation and helping contain a large diesel spill from the blaze. Crews estimate there was about 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel on the 6 boats that were destroyed, but it’s unclear how much of it has spilled.
“This is more fuel than I think I’ve seen in a long time in the water,” said Kitsap County Fire Marshal David Lyman.
Officials say it might take up to a week to clean up.
“This is going to be a substantial response,” said Roberts Walls with the Dept. of Energy.
A barge and crane will be brought in to pull the sunken boats from the bottom of the bay.
There is still no word what started the Port Orchard marina fire. Lyman says it could take 1-4 weeks to determine the cause.