By David Fleet
Brandon Twp.-At about 2 p.m., May 27, the Brandon Township Fire Department responded to a burning boat on Bald Eagle Lake.
When firefighters arrived a fiberglass boat was engulfed in flames while still tied to a dock. Heavy black smoke could be seen for miles.
“There were concerns the fire threatened the dock and brush near the lakeshore,” said David Kwapis, fire chief. “The fire was out in about 15 minutes; however, the fuel from the tank has nowhere to go except back in the boat, so reigniting is a possibility.”
In addition, the fiberglass is also fuel for the fire which continued to burn, he said.
Firefighters used foam to help extinguish the fire and deployed containment booms in the water to help control contamination.
There were no injuries and firefighters were on standby until the boat was out of the water.
“It appears gas fumes collected around the inboard engine housing,” he said. “So when the engine started it flashed and burned.”
Firefighters were on standby until the boat was removed from the water.
The U.S Coast Guard recommends inspecting gas tank and lines each year; using the correct fuses and breakers; fixing corroded connections; limiting external heat; installing access points to the engine and keeping multiple fire extinguishers.