Fire at Baltimore Yacht Club quickly quelled

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: GIANNA DECARLO gde­carlo@ches­pub.com

The skies sur­round­ing the Baltimore Yacht Club in Es­sex were filled with plumes of black smoke after a boat caught on fire shortly after 2 p.m. on Sun­day, Au­gust 27.

Chief John Heinz, of the Bow­leys Quar­ters Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment, which re­sponded to the scene, said the fire broke out while the

ves­sel was docked at the Baltimore Yacht Club’s fu­el­ing sta­tion.

When the fire started, ei­ther dur­ing or after fu­el­ing, the yacht club’s staff cut the boat lines and pushed it into the open wa­ter, away from the dock. Heinz said the wind and cur­rent pushed the boat out to ap­prox­i­mately 300 yards from the Sue Creek en­trance, where fire crews were able to quell the flames us­ing wa­ter and fire fight­ing foam. While the BQVD was at the scene for an hour and a half, it only took 20 min­utes to snuff out the fire and the charred re­mains of the boat were quickly towed away.

Heinz praised the quick­think­ing and train­ing of the fuel and dock staff, say­ing that their ac­tions helped me­di­ate the flames and re­duce dam­ages.

No in­juries were re­ported al­though re­port­edly one boat at the ma­rina suf­fered mi­nor smoke dam­age. Fire crews are cur­rently in­ves­ti­gat­ing what caused the fire.

While the scene ap­peared dra­matic, with the dark heavy smoke bil­low­ing across the wa­ter, Heinz said the fire was rel­a­tively mi­nor. The boat was made of wood, plas­tic, and fiber­glass, which are heav­ily flammable and, when burned, pro­duces the black smoke.

“We are very grate­ful that no one was se­verely in­jured. Thanks to a swift re­sponse from our staff and fel­low boaters we were able to min­i­mize ad­di­tional harm. We are ap­pre­cia­tive of the Baltimore County first re­spon­ders and other boat ser­vices that came to as­sist and pro­tect every­one that was in the area. Our best to all that were af­fect [sic] by this in­ci­dent,” stated the Baltimore Yacht Club on their Face­book page.

Out of an abun­dance of cau­tion for the staff and for the safety of the cus­tomers, the fuel pier re­mained closed for the rest of the day and re­opened the next day.

PHOTO BY KEVIN MCDONOUGH

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