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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Several boats went up in flames overnight in Pompano Beach.
It happened at a marina on the Hillsboro Inlet at 2708 North Ocean Boulevard.
The fire started in a 45 foot open fisherman. A witness said the flames quickly spread to two nearby boats.
“Flames were probably 40 feet high, over the tuna towers. There were three boats totally engulfed in flames, I tried to get close but there was nothing I could do. I wanted to untie our boat and get it out of the slip but I had my shirt off and I got within 50 feet and I was just getting burned. I might have some minor burns on me. So that’s all I could do, just watch,” said Chip Hunt.
Tim Morgan, with Sea Tow, said boat fires have hidden dangers.
“They’re extremely dangerous, you have a lot of these boats that have compressed scuba bottles, natural gas, diesel fuel, a lot of flammables that could be explosive,” said Morgan.
Two of the boats, which were completely destroyed, sank; a third was severely damaged. A fourth boat had minor damage. All of the boats involved are charter fishing boats.
“We got three generations of fishermen here, it breaks my heart, I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Hunt.
Sea Tow is trying to salvage whatever they can for these fishermen, devastated after losing their livelihood in a matter of minutes.
“I was in tears on my way here, I didn’t really know what was happening but it’s my livelihood,” said boat captain Stan Hunt.
The owner of the boat where the fire started said he had some electrical work done on his vessel Monday. Just after midnight the fire erupted.
It took firefighters about an hour to put the fire out. No injuries were reported.