By: Benjamin He
On Saturday, two people were killed and three were injured when a 35-foot power boat erupted into flames. According to officials, the fire appeared near a fueling dock in Alamitos Bay in the 200 block of Marina Drive.
Two men and one woman in their 60s were injured and rushed to hospitals with burn related injuries. Two women in their 60s were killed by the flames, as stated by Long Beach Fire Capt. Jake Heflin.
Captain Heflin said that firefighters were alerted of a blaze at 5:17 p.m., where they dispatched several fire engines and marine safety rescue boats to the area. Once the firefighters arrived, they saw other bystanders attempting to help put out the fire. The bystanders later said that the pleasure craft was in the process of fueling up as it went up in flames, but the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, says Heflin.
Heflin stated that his firefighters “knocked a good portion of the fire out” using water cannons. After a while, county firefighting support was called in to keep the inferno in check, making sure that no stray embers landed anywhere else.
A plume of smoke had erupted from the area, able to be seen for miles around as firefighters fought the conflagration from both land and on water.
Daniel Quinn, a host at the nearby Crab Pot restaurant, stated that he heard a loud noise, “”
Like someone landed on the roof.”
“There was a big bang and I looked up, and there was this ginormous plume of black smoke,” he said.
Booms (a temporary containment method) were placed around the boat to minimize environmental impact that may be caused by oil or fuel leaks. But as rescue workers moved the boat to an isolation dock, it began to take on water and is now partially submerged. Long Beach officials plan to use a private salvage company to remove the boat from the water, he said.
Heflin said that no firefighters were injured, but were all offered mental health services if any require any.