A fire broke out on Tuesday night at Fisherman’s Wharf in Campbell River, severely damaging two boats.
Witness Martha Pranckuviene described two boats that were involved in the fire. The vessels were tied together, and the fire appeared to have started in the smaller of the two boats, she said.
“Not sure if it was marine police but the blue and white boat you see towing it came in super fast, attached the burning boat by a rope and tried to pull it out of the marina,” she said. “Unfortunately the rope burnt off and the boats came apart.”
After it drifted into a nearby aluminum boat, Pranckuviene said the larger boat was towed to where it could no longer harm other vessels.
“The smaller boat was still on fire so the blue and white one spun around to create a wake to drown the flames and tipped it over - it was really like something from an action movie!” she said. “Three explosions came from the bigger boat and it quickly became a shell. Nothing left!”
Campbell River Fire crews attended the scene. The crews were able to attack the flames with water from a stand-pipe system at the marina. Although one of the stand-pipes had water pressure issues, the crews were used to the system thanks to their annual training on it and were able to prevent the fire from spreading.
Chief Thomas Doherty said that Campbell River does not have a fire boat, and that service had been provided by the Coast Guard in previous years.
“It is something we’ll be looking in to, especially with a few incidents like this,” he said
A few weeks ago, a fire boat would have come in handy at a dock fire north of Campbell River.
A video on social media shows a large crowd gathered at the wharf, drawn in by the column of smoke above the marina.
“It all happened so quick it really was only for the quick thinking and bravery of the fellow boaters that situation would have been a whole lot worse,” Pranckuviene said.
Doherty said that the vessels sank, and the department installed a boom to contain any spillage and notified the Coast Guard and DFO.
No injuries were reported, and the cause is still under investigation.