Fire destroyed a fishing vessel in storage Monday morning in Haines, prompting 20 volunteer firefighters to rush to the scene. The boat, which was not-yet sea-worthy, belonged to Brian O’Reilly who says he’s been working on the project for a long time.
Firefighter Scott Bradford was in charge at the scene. He says no one was injured and no other structures were damaged. The boat was being built in a storage unit behind the post office. The fire spouted toxic smoke for a couple of hours before the blaze was extinguished completely. Here’s Bradford:
“When we arrived on scene, it was a fully-involved boat with lots of black smoke. It’s a little difficult to put the fire out because there are so many little, enclosed compartments and so we’ve been cutting holes in it to get water in it.”
The fire started in the cabin, and O’Reilly says he thinks it was the oil stove. O’Reilly was not inside the boat when the fire broke out.
The boat burned on property owned by George Campbell. Campbell owns about one and a half acres at that spot and rents out storage space.
“I didn’t know, I had heard multiple boats were on fire so I’m not sure this is going to affect me one way or the other, other than one of my renters is having a very, very bad day,” Campbell said.
O’Reilly says he thinks the boat, which was insured, is a complete loss, but he’ll sift through what’s left to see if he can salvage anything.