Burning Boats

Burning Boats Fill Oceanside Harbor Sky With Smoke

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

A pair of boats tied up at a marina in Oceanside caught on fire Monday, spewing flames and a plume of smoke that filled the sky over the harbor.

The two-alarm blaze started sometime before 4 p.m. just off the 200 block of South Harbor Drive.

While the fire burned extremely hot, creating a large cloud of black smoke, firefighters were able to extinguish it fairly quickly, but not before both boats had extensive damage.

Gretchen and Brian Grad, a couple from Chicago who have a home in Leucadia, happened to see the fire when they went out for a drive and stopped in Oceanside to watch some kite surfers.

"We were about to leave and saw some smoke," Gretchen said. "We drove over closer and … we thought we could see some flames, so we pulled over to watch and within a few minutes, the flames engulfed the entire upper deck, and within a few moments, the flames spread to the boat next to it."

The Grads said they watched the fire from the pier for about 10 minutes before Oceanside Fire was able to respond.

"At one point, there was a small explosion from the primary boat," Grad said, adding that they watched the blaze for nearly half an hour.

OFD said the larger of the two boats was about 40 feet long.

Eventually crews were able to unhook the larger boat from the dock and pull it closer to the nearby boat ramp where firefighters had better access. So much water was sprayed at the vessel that it partially sank, OFD said.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The larger boat is likely a total loss, according to OFD. Whether the second boat is salvageable or not has not been determined.

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