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Port Hardy Fire Rescue puts out two boat fires in one week

All told, it took Port Hardy Fire Rescue about 20 minutes to put the first fire out
Boat fire at Fisherman’s Wharf. (Ingrid Bouius Facebook video screenshot)

Port Hardy Fire Rescue had to respond to two boat fires in one week.

It was back on Sunday morning (Feb. 4) at around 6:48 a.m. when the fire department received the first call about a boat on fire at the Fisherman’s Wharf near the Quarterdeck Marina boat launch.

“Engine 10 arrived first, Ladder 17 came in behind it,” confirmed Fire Chief Brent Borg, who noted they actually needed three trucks on site due to the size of the flames.

“It was a pretty big fire when we got there,” said Borg. “There was a propane tank on the deck that was venting … the boat was actually fully involved, so our guys pulled their hoses, setup their dock packs, and we were able to extinguish the fire pretty quickly.”

When asked how firefighters go about attacking a boat that’s on fire in the water at a busy marina, Borg laughed and said, “carefully.”

He noted that once you are able to get the flames under control, you can then start to conserve your water supply and start using some foam instead.

“The key is to try and not sink the boat,” he added. “It’s a bit of a balancing act, but we knocked it down pretty easy and it didn’t spread.”

From that point, PHFR teamed up with the coast guard and the wharf manager. The coast guard ended up pushing the boat over to the boat launch and it was removed from the water.

All told, it took PHFR about 20 minutes to put the fire out. There were no injuries and the cause of the fire is unknown at this time and still under investigation.

The second boat fire occurred in the early afternoon on Thursday, Feb. 8, at the exact same dock.

“The fire was centred around the stove,” said Borg. “It was mostly out by the time we got there, they used extinguishers to put it out, so we just went in to make sure things were cooled off and there was no hazard.”

Borg noted it’s “pretty rare” for PHFR to be called out for two boat fires in one week at the same dock.

“We do train for this, at least once a year we’re down at the docks deploying our lines and testing our lines and making sure everybody knows how the procedure works, because it’s not like a structure fire, we don’t use our regular main attack lines, we use our dock packs.”

PHFR practices every Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. If you’re interested in joining the team, you can drop in at the fire hall or reach out to any of the firefighters for more information.

Tyson Whitney

About the Author: Tyson Whitney

I have been working in the community newspaper business for nearly a decade, all of those years with Black Press Media.
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