Illegal fireworks blamed for Lake Union marina fire
By Christopher Gerber
July 5, 2013
Filed under News
A fire overnight at Seattle Boat Co. marina damaged or destroyed fourteen boats, NWCN.com reported this morning.
The fire started just before 10 p.m. at Seattle Boat Co.’s Lake Union SkyLaunch marina when, the marina told NWCN.com, fireworks launched from the hillside landed on a boat, catching fire and spreading quickly.
The facility, completed in 2007, has about 250 customers that rely on the facility for storage.
In an exclusive interview with Boating Industry, CEO Alan Bohling reiterated that the fire appeared to start from an errant firework that ignited the canvas cover of a boat in a storage rack. Due to its location and views of downtown Seattle, the Lake Union SkyLaunch Marina is in the center of action in the Independence Day celebration. Every year, the Seattle Boat Company invites clients to enjoy the fireworks from the location.
Bohling said the company had additional staffing and security on site for the celebration. Many attendees witnessed the apparent firework mishap, and on-site staff quickly lept to action, unsuccessfully trying to remove the burning boat from the rack while the fire department battled the flames.
“It was, I would say, on the verge of heroic,” Bohling said of his staff’s efforts, and those of the Seattle Fire Department. “We have communicated throughout the night both in media press releases and individual contact with every customer.”
Bohling added that the facility’s dry stack facility performed much better during the emergency than a traditional, older wooden facility would have, allowing safer and easier access for the fire department.
“It could have been much, much worse, so we are still thankful that everybody acted quickly and, of course, safety was the most important part of that,” he said. “We store a total in upwards of 1,000 boats between our facilities, so a loss of 14 is truly significant, but we are just so thankful it wasn’t worse.”
The Lake Union SkyLaunch Marina is fully operational today, and will remain open throughout the holiday weekend.
Contributor: Senior Editor Tom Kaiser