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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Ft. Lauderdale marina is closed Monday for a continued investigation into a fire that spread from one multi-million dollar yacht to another early Sunday morning.
The yachts, both estimated to cost millions of dollars, went up in flames Sunday around 6:45 a.m.
Officials said Monday they are working to get fuel out of the water. Also, they will be pumping it from the boats as one still has 15,000 gallons on it.
Investigators are not able to determine the cause of the fire because the yachts are too unstable to get on, therefore, they have not been able to enter.
The boats will be taken out of the water with cranes Tuesday. Once they are on land, investigators will be able to enter the yachts.
Officials are on the scene, keeping an eye on the fire. Also, an environmental company is working to clean up the diesel fuel that spilled out of the vessels. The fuel is well-contained to keep it from hurting the environment and under the supervision of the Marine Patrol, State Environmental agencies.
Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue crews worked quickly Sunday to keep the fire from spreading to over yachts docked at the marina.
“First thing they did, there were several other vessels tied to those boats. They broke those off so the fire didn’t spread to those vessels,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Heiser.
Even after fire crews drenched the boats with water, fire kept burning below deck.
Fire fighters pumped so much water onto the yachts one of them sank.
Jeremy Lycke was on his boat when he saw the large plume of smoke. It was first gray, then got dark and blacker over Yacht Management Marina off State Road 84.
“I look and I saw smoke billowing out from the marina over here right across the bridge,” he said.
He called 9-1-1 and rushed to the marina.
“If it was my boat, I’d want someone to it. If they didn’t, it would make me highly upset,” he said.
Upset could possibly be an understatement as each of the yachts that caught fire are estimated to be worth several million dollars.
The fire department said one of the yachts is a 75-footer. The smaller one is between 50 and 60 feet long. A marina employee said the smaller boat was going to be sold soon.
“Yeah, the boat show is the second week of February in Miami Beach right now. I don’t think the boat can make it this time,” the marina employee said.
While the exact amount of damage to the vessels is unknown, the owners will be lucky if they can salvage anything.
“One looks like a complete loss. It’s just an inferno over there,” said Lycke.
Crews continued to work hours after the fire to empty the boats of any diesel fuel that might be on board.