Boat fire erupts at Lake Union marina


by Associated Press and KING Staff Reports

Posted on December 8, 2009 at 8:03 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 8 at 1:18 PM

SEATTLE -- Two Seattle firefighters and one police officer went into Lake Union fighting a boat fire at a marina where freezing temperatures quickly turned water to ice.

Spokeswoman Dana Vander Houwen says all three were quickly pulled out of the water OK.
No one was injured in the fire about 3:20 a.m. Tuesday at the Sundance Marina on the west side of Lake. Arriving firefighters found a motor yacht about 50 feet long fully involved in flames. The fire reportedly started on one boat and spread to two others.

"My dog woke me up ... I saw flames and the fire and started calling all the boat owners right away," said Virginia, boat owner.

Vander Houwen says police Harbor Patrol helped cut nearby boats loose and moved them away from the fire. Firefighters managed to put the flames out within 15 minutes.

All of the boats that caught on fire were unoccupied.

Fire investigators declared the cause of the fire to be accidental, saying it was sparked by an electrical failure. Damage was estimated at $2 million.

A big issue was the freezing temperatures.

"Anytime water hits the ground, it turns to ice immediately, so it's really slippery out there" said a Seattle Fire Department spokesperson. The spokesperson said the three firefighters who fell into the water were OK and being warmed up.

There appeared to be no significant damage to the dock. 

KING 5's Tim Robinson contributed to this report.