At 4:16 a.m. firefighters responded to a boat fire at the Jim Clark Marina at 1317 Southwest Spokane Street. Initial 9-11 callers reported hearing an explosion. When firefighters arrived at the scene, they untied a burning boat and pushed away it from the marina to prevent the fire from spreading.
The Fireboat Leschi fought the fire from the water and land based fire crews fought the fire from the pier. Firefighters had the fire under control quickly and were able to keep the fire confined to a small area. Their efforts prevented the fire from spreading to the rest of the marina and additional boats. Biodegradable firefighting foam was used to help extinguish the fire.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental – caused by an explosion that was the result of fuel vapor in the bilge of a 36 foot wooden motor boat that was ignited by a spark from electrical equipment on board the boat. The explosion and fire damaged three boats, one boat sunk, one boat burned to the water line and another boat suffered exterior damage. The boat houses covering the boats were also damaged. One boat house completely collapsed and fire damaged the two adjacent boathouses. Fire Investigators estimated damage at $200,000.
Seattle Police Harbor Patrol assisted with the efforts from the water. Coast Guard responded to the scene to mitigate any potential environmental issues such as leaking fuel.