Boat destroyed in fire near city pier

OBSERVER Photo City firefighters douse a burning boat off the dock Monday morning.

OBSERVER Staff Report

It was supposed to be a fishing expedition on a perfect autumn morning.

Dunkirk Fire Chief Michael Edwards reported after the 45-minute boat blaze had been contained, the 41-foot vessel Monday morning never was able to leave the dock. Within minutes after the engine was going, a thick, black smoke enveloped the city waterfront.

The boat was an inferno.

“Obviously fiberglass boat burns hot and fast… it takes a little while to control it,” Edwards said.

The fire began around 9:20 a.m., but fire crews were not alerted to it until around 9:25 a.m. Portions of Route 5 had to be closed as a hose line had to be run to the end of the dock to the west of the city pier.

Because the fire happened in October, and not the during the warmer months, damage was limited. “Luckily there weren’t any other boats right next to it,” Edwards said. “If it had been the summer, the slips would have been full and we would have had some exposure problems.”

Edwards said his department normally deals with one boat fire per year. As of this morning, there was no word on a cause and no injuries.


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