One man — thought to have been on the boat when the blaze started — was hospitalized. He was treated for a minor case of smoke inhalation according to East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD) Fire Marshal Steve Aubert.
An undetermined number of people reportedly living on boats in the marina were reportedly displaced as a result of the incident.
Improper use of a space heater appeared to be the cause of the fire, said Aubert.
ECCFPD Battalion Chief Craig Auzenne was first on scene after the fire was reported at 6:10 a.m. on the 1900 block of Taylor Road. He found a boat burning between the levee and a floating dock. Fire destroyed the gangway leading to the levee top and trapped an unknown number of people on the dock.
“Had the fire extended to the dock, we could have had a very bad situation,” Auzenne said.
The fire was contained to the boat and those trapped were evacuated from the dock by private citizens in their own boats.
A number of complications hampered the response to the incident including thick fog that slowed the responding units and limited access to the incident on a narrow, unpaved levee top road. Additionally, an outage at the Contra Costa County Regional Fire Communications Center resulted in the incident being dispatched by phone.The Red Cross was called to the location to assist as many as 15 people with temporary housing, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife responded due to gasoline and oil released into the waters of Taylor Slough. Additionally, Aubert said Contra Costa County Code Enforcement officials were called to the area for possible code violations.