According to a post on the department’s Facebook page, at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 30, the New Bedford Fire Department received 911 calls regarding a boat on fire at the Pope’s Island Marina on Route 6. When firefighters arrived, they found a 30-foot pleasure craft fully involved in fire.
Two bystanders had cut the boat free from its mooring so that the fire could not spread to two adjacent boats. The burning vessel then came to rest in an empty mooring.
When fire units arrived, “long hose lays along the standpipe connections were required to reach the involved vessel,” the post reads. Engines 1, 6, and 7, along with Ladders 1 and 3, Command Units 1 and 2, and Marine 38 all responded to the fire. New Bedford Police, Massachusetts Environmental Police, and the Fairhaven Harbormaster all assisted at the scene. The Rapid Intervention Team, a three-man crew designed to rescue downed firefighters from buildings, was also deployed with water rescue suits and water rescue equipment due to the icy docks, in the event someone slipped and fell into the water. A previous version of this story, based on the wording of the Facebook post, stated someone had fallen in; Acting Fire Chief Scott Kruger said no one had fallen in and that the post was re-worded to clarify that.
The boat fire was brought under control in approximately 30 minutes, but the boat is a total loss, the fire department said, noting that the cause appears to be accidental. The fire remains under investigation.