Fire at Baltimore Yacht Club quickly quelled
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.