A yacht caught fire in the morning of May 7 at a boat yard in Riviera Beach, Florida, and officials expect it to continue burning late into the night, according to NBC affiliate WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach. Fire officials are letting it burn out because the vessel is on stilts and adding water weight could cause it to collapse.
Riviera Beach Fire Rescue said no fuel is leaking into the water at the Cracker Boy Boat Works, located next to the Riviera Beach City Marina. To prevent the spread of diesel fuel, SeaTow installed 1,000 feet of containment barrier boom as a precaution.
Firefighters were called to the fire at about 5:30 a.m., the Palm Beach Post reports. At around 11 a.m., the fire was under control but firefighters continued to attack hot spots a while after. Interim Riviera Beach Fire Chief John Curd told the Palm Beach Post, “It will burn for six hours.” He also said the boat’s captain and first mate arrived during the fire and said they did not believe anyone was on board when flames broke out.
A cruise ship was scheduled to dock at the Port of Palm Beach at 8 a.m. but was delayed due to the fire. It finally docked by 10:45 a.m. There were no injuries and no further damage to neighboring vessels besides smoke, WPTV-TV reports.
The cause of the fire remains unknown, but the Florida Department of Environmental Protection deployed an emergency response team to the scene and the U.S. Coast Guard is also assisting in the investigation.
The Florida State Fire Marshal has found no indication that the fire was of a suspicious origin, The Palm Beach Post reports. The fire burned for nearly 24 hours before it was formally declared extinguished.
The fire marshal’s office identified the vessel as the 103-foot Tarrab M/Y Sea Alice and is only in the early stages of the investigation.
Interim Riviera Beach fire chief John Curd told the Palm Beach Post that firefighters were able to save a catamaran on one side of the fire and on the other, a yacht that had been wrapped only suffered minor smoke and heat damage.