By Ty Russell

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Two multi-million dollar yachts went up in flames early Saturday morning.

Thick smoke could be seen several feet in the air in Fort Lauderdale before the sun came up.

Cellphone video shows firefighters using a ladder truck to battle the fire. They leaned on water and foam.

One man said his boat was nearby the fire.

“They’re telling me I probably have a lot of smoke on it. They’ll have to clean it up for me,” he said.

Firefighters said a neighboring marina alerted them about the huge fire around 4:30 Saturday morning. The fire was near State Road 84 just west of I-95. The city’s fire marshal said this was not an easy fight.

“Once we got here, there were access problems and water problems,” Jeffrey Lucas said.

The location of the yachts presented a problem for firefighters, but that’s not all.

“With these boats, when they’re under construction or they’re getting rehabbed, they have a lot of scaffolding around them. What’s keeping us from going on the boat is leaning scaffolding,” Lucas said.

The fire damaged a 160-foot yacht worth $12 to $16 million. It also damaged a 107-foot yacht with an $8 million price tag.

Investigators are now working to learn what sparked flames.

“It could’ve been from the rehab crew. It could’ve been from equipment. It could’ve been electrical. We just don’t know,” the fire marshal said.

For the man who had his boat feet away from flames, he knows the owners of the damaged yachts will certainly want to know what happened.

“I’m sure they have insurance. If they’re in the yard, more than likely they have a contract to do maintenance. So hopefully they can find out what happened,” the boater said.

The owners of the yachts and marina could not be reached for comment.

Ty Russell

Comments (2)