The fire started below the pilot house of the fishing vessel Jim Dandy at Homer’s Wharf in New Bedford sometime before 5:30 p.m. Boat owner Fred Stowell of Dartmouth said no one was aboard at the time, and when he arrived, firefighters had nearly extinguished the blaze.
“There’s damage, but it’s nothing we can’t repair,” he said.
The boat had been scheduled to leave that night on a fishing trip, captained by his son, Chris Stowell. Repairs on the approximately 50-foot vessel should take about two weeks, Fred Stowell said. He does not yet know the cost of the damage.
“I’m just thankful that nobody got hurt,” he said.
Smoke and flames were visible from the pilot house when firefighters reached the scene, according to New Bedford Fire Chief Michael Gomes. The fire was electrical in origin, he said. Firefighters doused the flames quickly, and the boat did not sink.
Although the exact cause is unknown in this case, electrical fires can happen for a variety of reasons, including a short circuit, or when a device malfunctions and gets hot, he said. In a marine environment in particular, corrosion can cause problems.
“There’s a myriad of issues that can cause it,” he said.