Cause of boat blaze is under investigation

By on Thursday, January 27th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

UMATILLA – Umatilla Rural Fire District Interim Chief Scott Stanton says last night’s fire at the Umatilla Marina is still under investigation. A 32-foot boat was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, and it eventually sank. Crews also had to contend with a second fire due to burning fuel on the water.

Stanton said the fire extended to part of the dock. There was also damage done to the roof over the slips. It wasn’t an easy fire to fight.

“Crews had to open a locked gate and a second locked gate on the ramp to the slips, then extend hose lines to the fire,” Stanton wrote in an email. “(They were) not only fighting the boat on fire but also a flammable liquids fire from the leaking gas. The boat eventually sank, leaving just a flammable liquids fire on top of the water.”

Stanton called out both the rural district firefighters and Umatilla County Fire District No. 1, because the local organization is short staffed. The response consisted of three fire engines and one fire boat. The UCFD hazmat team was also dispatched to handle the fuel leakage problem. Booms were placed to contain the fuel once the fire was out.

At present, it has not been determined what sparked the fire.