A boat fire Sunday morning at the All Seasons Marina left three people with minor burns and caused major traffic delays on Roosevelt Boulevard near Ocean City as passing motorists looked for the source of the large plume of black smoke.
A 24-foot recreational boat was at the fuel dock at All Seasons Marina on the Upper Township side of the 34th Street Bridge when it caught fire at about 11:20 a.m. June 30, according to Chief Jay Newman of the Marmora Volunteer Fire Company.
All six people on board the boat were able to escape to the floating fuel dock before the boat become fully engulfed in flames, Newman said. But three with minor burn injuries were transported to Shore Medical Center in Somers Point by Upper Township EMS and the Ocean City Fire Department.
With its lines burned, the boat began to float away from the fuel dock and toward other boats docked at the marina, Newman said. But a TowBoatUS vessel near the scene was able to "lasso" the burning boat, pull it away from the fuel dock and other boats, and move it toward the water lines of Marmora Volunteer Fire Company and Ocean City Fire Department vehicles at the marina.
Ocean City Deputy Chief Jim Smith said the department's Engine 3 responded as part of a mutual aid agreement and arrived to find the boat fully involved. In all, 25 firefighters spent close to an hour at the scene, Newman said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the New Jersey State Police Marine Division, Newman said.
What was left of the boat was towed to the marina and lifted out of the water. Newman said any environmental impact would be investigated by the Coast Guard and State Police, but because of the intensity of the blaze, he didn't believe there was much potential for any fuel to remain in the water.