A family is safe after their boat caught fire on the public launch ramp at Antelope Point Marina Saturday morning.
Just before 8 am on Saturday, July 6, the Page Fire Department, EMS, Coconino County Sheriffs and National Park Service responded to a report of a boat fire at the Antelope Point Marina launch ramp.
Witnesses told LPNN they saw flames coming from the engine compartment of the boat as the engine was started. One passenger was sitting on the seat directly above the engine compartment when the combustion caused the seat to lift, launching the passenger; they received minor injuries.
The boat owners tried to unhitch the boat from their truck, but the situation was too dangerous. Due to hazardous materials within a boat’s engine, submerging the boat was not an option and could have made circumstances worse and more dangerous for everyone within the area at the time.
Due to the quick actions of National Park Service personnel and witnesses, everyone involved remained safe and hazardous material was prevented from entering the lake.
Page firefighters arrived and were able to quickly extinguish the fire before it spread.
According to the family and officials on the scene, there were no serious injuries. Some of the family did receive minor burns, cuts, and scrapes from the incident, and were treated on the scene by non-medical personnel prior to the Page Fire Department and EMS crews arriving.
Once the fire was out, it was able to be towed away by the owners; the boat was a total loss, however it appeared that there was minimal damage to the trailer and tow vehicle.
Witnesses claim the owners attempted to start the engine prior to placing the boat in the water when the fire broke out. One witness told LPNN that “…watching someone’s vacation burn up…and seeing people’s shoes burnt up makes it all really real”.
The official cause of the fire has not yet been determined. LPNN has reached out to the Page Fire Department regarding the cause of the fire. We will update this article once we receive an official statement.
Even though the cause has yet to be determined, it is good to remember that when it comes to starting your vessel's engine, the the U.S. Coast Guard recommends running the vessel’s blower for at least 4 minutes prior to starting enclosed engines.
While the blower is running, the USCG also recommends checking for the smell of fuel. If a strong odor of fuel is present, check the engine compartment and bilge for any possible fuel leaks prior to starting the vessel.
If something like this does happen to your vessel, do not open the engine compartment. This will cause more oxygen to fuel the flame, making the situation worse and even more dangerous than it already is.
You can learn more about boating safety and federal requirements from the USCG here.
**Article was updated to reflect the correct day. Article originally stated the fire occured on Sunday, July 7, when it actually occurred on Saturday, July 6
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