Domino Effect: Multiple Boat Fires on Westport River
WESTPORT — The Westport Fire Department had its hands full Monday morning when a series of unfortunate events resulted in four vessels and two separate docks catching fire.
Lieutenant Keith Nickelson said crews were called out to the Drift Road side of the Westport River just after 5:30 a.m. on July 5 by someone who spotted a fire from across the river's East Branch.
It started on a dock with a jet ski, Nickelson said, although it's unclear if the fire originally came from the jet ski itself or from something else on the dock.
He said the fire engulfed both the jet ski and a small powerboat next to it.
Then the jet ski broke loose from the dock, and floated with the outgoing tide down to another dock nearby, where it caught the second dock and another powerboat on fire, Nickelson said.
In a knock-on domino effect, the second boat drifted into another one, which also broke loose and continued downriver while alight.
Luckily, Nickelson said, crews from the fire department and harbormaster's office were able to put out the fire and land the third boat safely on the shore before anything else was damaged.
In total, three boats and a jet ski caught fire, along with two docks.
"It was interesting," Nickelson laughed. "What a way to wake up!"
No injuries were reported during the incident, which lasted a little over an hour.
"We had the fires out pretty quick," said Nickelson. "And then we still made it to the 4th of July parade!"
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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