BELLINGHAM, Wash.-- Investigators now believe two people were trapped aboard a boat that sank after a two-alarm fire destroyed as many as 10 boats at a marina in Bellingham.
The fire was reported about 5:30 a.m. in a covered boathouse at the Squalicum Harbor marina. Flames had already spread to several boats when firefighters arrived. The roof of the boathouse eventually collapsed.
Authorities identified the missing people as 43-year-old Jim Langei and 33-year-old Sterling Taylor.
Divers were expected to enter the water Friday afternoon to go through debris that sank to the bottom of the marina.
The Port of Bellingham says Squalicum Harbor is home port to more than 1,400 commercial and pleasure boats, including charter boats.
Assistant Chief Christenson said the city had an old fire boat harbored at the marina until January 1. It was not replaced due to a tight budget.
The Washington State Department of Ecology said all spilled fuel from the fire has been contained within boons and is not expected to spread further.