by: Frank Field Updated:
DES MOINES, Wash. - Fire investigators are getting a better look in daylight hours after a fire swept through a dock at the marina in Des Moines Sunday night.
Of the eight boats that were burned, six of them are a total loss. The melted fiberglass hulls of several boats dripped water as they awaited fire investigators.
Investigators said a couple who was injured fire were working on a bilge pump for the owner of a boat on the J dock at the marina.
At some point, they left and then came back to smell heavy gas fumes in the galley and engine compartment. Firefighters say a flash fire was sparked that spread to other boats.
Anything electrical could have sparked the fire.
A man in his 30s and a 28-year-old woman were injured in the fire. They were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Their latest conditions are not known and their names have not been released by South King Fire and Rescue.
Donna Beaux lives on a boat at a nearby dock. She says she was watching TV when she heard a woman screaming for help. She went outside to see flames and a woman who jumped from the dock into the water to escape the flames.
“I’ve been a professional yacht captain for 25 years,” said Beaux. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve been all over the world and this is the first time I’ve seen something like this.”
Beaux said she thinks favorable winds helped blow the fire away from another dock or the fire have been worse.
The fire caused a small fuel spill. State Department of Ecology crews put booms in the water to contain it.
The boats on the J dock were 25- to 30-foot pleasure cruisers. Damage estimates have not been complete, but new prices for similar boats start at $75,000 retail.