NEAR KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (WSVN) — Firefighters have extinguished a boat fire that spread to several vessels near Key Biscayne.
City of Miami and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews responded to reports of two vessels on fire at Crandon Park Marina, located at 4000 Crandon Blvd., at around 7 a.m., Thursday.
According to officials, two fire boats and about one dozen fire trucks worked to control the chain-reaction blaze.
One of the bigger vessels was towed away from the other boats to stop the spread of the flames.
“A Miami-Dade Fire Boat pulled one of the boats that were on fire out to the open area outside of the marina and anchored it and fought that one,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Battallion Chief Peter Lugo, “while the City of Miami boat fought the one that was still anchored. There was also a dinghy that was on fire. The City of Miami put that one out at the same time they were fighting the boat fire.”
Officials said four boats, three large vessels and one small vessel caught fire.
According to officials, the fire started on one of the large vessels, which broke loose and set another large vessel on fire. The fire continued to spread to the other large and small vessels.
Firefighters were able to save the last large vessel that caught fire.
Cellphone video showed the boats engulfed in flames and heavy black smoke coming from the blaze.
Orlando Barreto was at the marina at the time of the fire and said he heard an explosion.
“It was very intense,” said Barreto. “You can see that there was two boats that were, basically, fully engulfed in flames.”
He said he worried about how close the boats were to each other as he watched the blaze.
“Like that six-foot range, and it’s fiberglass, so once fiberglass starts burning, it’s very hard to turn it off,” he said. “It was actually about five boats. Two, that I can see, are going to be total losses, and the other three kind of got scorched.”
MDFR officials tweeted an image of the smoke that could be seen coming from the boats.
The charred remains of one of the boats could be seen floating in the water.
Firefighters were able to put out the fire but continued to foam the boats to get rid of any hot spots.
Lugo said they have contacted the owners of the boats and have confirmed that none of the vessels were occupied at the time of the fire.
“There was nobody on them,” said Lugo. “I met with the two owners, and they were unaware until they arrived.”
The marina was temporarily shut down due to the fire and heavy emergency and fire rescue presence in the area.
No injuries have been reported.
The main risk firefighters face when tackling a fire of this kind is falling into the water as a result of all the heavy equipment they have on their person.
MDFR officials said the investigation is expected to take several days because the damage was so extensive.
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