Boat docked in Dania Beach canal catches fire
DANIA BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- Firefighters worked quickly to put out a fire on board a boat.
The flames broke out on a 35-foot Sea Ray boat docked in a Dania Beach canal, Saturday.
The boat owner rents the space from the homeowners who live near the canal. However, the homeowners were not home at the time of the fire, and the boat owners were away for the weekend.
Neighbors smelled the smoke and saw the flames, and called 911. "First, we smelled it, and it was a really, really funny smell, and I know that smell. And all of a sudden, boom! The explosion," witness Eli Gotay said. "It just happened to be the boat across the canal that was in flames, and it was spewing the petroleum all over the canal, and I was like, 'This is a bad scene.'"
"I was actually driving away from my house," neighbor Cy Maddox said, "and glanced into my rear view mirror and saw the smoke and thought it could be my house."
Gotay said he was afraid the flames would reach the petroleum in the canal's waters. "[The flames would] blow over, and that's what was making me paranoid," he said, "because the flames [could have] hit that petroleum that was in the water."
Many vessels were docked merely feet away from the burning boat, and firefighters worked fast to extinguish the flames so they would not spread to nearby vessels. Maddox said, "Soon, my neighbors were here, and they were already grabbing my boat and pulling it back out of the way."
Dania Beach firefighters and Broward Sheriff's Office deputies attacked the fire from land and water. "It could have spread fast, and when they started extinguishing it, that's when the odor got even worse," said Gotay.
It took 15 minutes for firefighters to put out the flames, which left the vessel charred and saturated in foam. The charred boat was towed away to a nearby marina.
Firefighters say a leak in the boat may have caused the fire. They continue to investigate.
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