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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – An investigation is underway after a fire severely damaged a yacht moored at Ft. Lauderdale’s Bahia Mar Marina.

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Ft. Lauderdale Fire Rescue got the call just after 10 p.m. Wednesday. When fire crews arrived they found an 80-foot yacht fully engulfed in flames.

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Shy and Paul were miles away, out on the ocean, when  they saw the smoke.

“We were fishing about two miles out and the smoke started like a little tiny funnel,” said witness Shy Shalem. “It started straight and then it just went out like this, like a mushroom, then it turned into a big black smoke ball.”

While that $3.5 million yacht was burning, two people were on a $16 million yacht next door and they were stuck.

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“The two people that were on the blue boat couldn’t get down the gang plank because it was in between the two boats, so they went to the rear of the vessel where Fort Lauderdale Nautical, police actually, rescued those two people,” said  Fort Lauderdale Fire Chief Timothy Heiser.

Those intense flames left behind a charred mess for investigators to pick through.

Firefighters said the thick smoke made the fire even more difficult to fight.

“It’s pretty much zero visibility and you’re walking on a dock that’s about eight feet wide so you have to worry about people falling in the water or losing their footing and falling between the boats or the vessel being compromised,” said  Heiser.

No injuries were reported, but one firefighter was treated on the scene for smoke and heat exhaustion.

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Investigators are trying to find out what caused the fire which may take several weeks.

Ted Scouten