Dark cloud sparks worry

It was an eerie sight on Monday morning. Thick, black smoke was rising over the Dunkirk waterfront. Onlookers rushed to the pier.

A boat, which was planning on a daylong fishing excursion, had caught fire. Besides destroying the 41-foot vessel, there was damage to the docks.

For 45 minutes, city firefighters battled the blaze that just did not want to quit. As city Fire Chief Michael Edwards said, the boat was made of fiberglass, a petroleum product. On top of that, the boat was filled with fuel.

But the crew did an excellent job. The blaze was contained to one boat and damage to the docks to the west of the city pier was minimal.

Also of importance was the fall season is not the boating season. “Luckily there weren’t any other boats right next to it,” the fire chief said. “If it had been the summer, the slips would have been full and we would have had some exposure problems.”

When all was said and done, it was scary but far from a worst-case scenario.