ATLANTIC CITY — A man was taken to the hospital for potential burns after a 27-foot boat caught fire Wednesday at Frank S. Farley State Marina outside Golden Nugget Atlantic City.
Fire crews responded to the marina before 8 a.m., fire Chief Scott Evans said.
One man was reported injured and transported to the hospital by EMS, Evans said. It was unknown to what hospital he was transported.
Those who watched firefighters spray the charred boat from the marina’s parking lot railing said they saw flames and black smoke billow high into the air.
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Dave Rogers, of Minnesota, who had a sailboat docked at the marina, said he heard a boom before he saw the smoke.
Crews battling the fire had to run hose lines down the dock and carry equipment in the narrow space, Evans said.
Firefighters originally grabbed garden hoses from nearby boats to prevent the fire from spreading while they waited for their own lines to get hooked up, he said.
The Coast Guard also responded by boat and used a pump and hose on board to spray water on the fire as well as on the surrounding boats. The blaze was under control in 20 minutes, Evans said.
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Evans, who estimated it has been about 10 years since the last large fire in the marina, said fires like this one present their own challenges.
They can spread rapidly, give off toxic smoke from the boat’s plastics and the access for firefighters is limited to the width of the dock.
Navigating can be difficult for the firefighters, who wore full black uniforms that covered their arms and legs as they hurried to get the thick, yellow hoses in place.
“You’re working in a confined area, so there’s always a danger of falling in the water,” he said.
They continued to spray water on the boat about 8:45 a.m. Fire investigators were on the scene.
Judging by how quickly the fire broke out, Evans believed it could have been fuel-related, whether it was gasoline or propane.
“It doesn’t happen a lot, but vapors gather in the hulls of the boats,” he said. “The engine rooms will fill up with vapors if there’s fuel problems, and they’ll explode.”