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Large fire destroys two yachts, smoke visible for miles

24 Jan 2015
A fire engulfed two yachts early Sunday morning at a yacht maintenance company on the New River, sending a massive plume of black smoke northeast and touching off a frantic effort by fire crews to prevent the blaze from jumping to nearby vessels.
The two yachts that caught fire, a 75-foot Azimut and a 50-foot Sunseeker, were connected by rope and to at least four other ships, said Timothy Heiser, Deputy Fire Chief of Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue. When crews arrived, they cut the rope and with the assistance of a tow boat and a fireboat, put distance between the engulfed vessels, he said.

Firefighters also worked to contain any leaks of fuel. The Sunseeker was carrying 1,500 gallons of fuel that was later pumped out. Special floating booms were placed around the scene for containment and the U.S. Coast Guard was expected to assist with that effort.

Raw video of a large fire that destroyed at least one yacht at about 7 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015.
At least 45 firefighters responded to the scene, as did the marina management and the owners of the engulfed boats. The fire marshal also responded to the scene, but the investigation into what caused the fire was delayed by small flare-ups almost seven hours after the blaze started.

Lee Burke, the director of risk management for the marina owners, said the Azimut is named "Lady Lex" and the Sunseeker is named "'It's About Time."

Four other ships had minor damage and all of the owners have been contacted. Burke said one of the ships was fueled and ready for an imminent trip to the Bahamas.

"Marina fires are not uncommon," Burke said. "But I'm not aware of any history at this facility. The safety history there is exemplary."


He added that the marina will open Monday.

There were no injuries and no estimate of the value of the boats.

Sun Sentinel
 
 
 
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