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By SCOTT BOWLEN
Daily News Staff Writer
A fire aboard an approximately 25-foot fiberglass boat at Bar Harbor South’s Float 5 drew a large response from local fire and law enforcement agencies Thursday morning.
No injuries were reported regarding the fire on the Pro-Line brand vessel, which was equipped for commercial hand-troll fishing.
Ketchikan Police Department officers spoke to two individuals leaving the area who might have had information about the fire. However, “at this point, we don’t have any indication that we have a criminal matter,” KPD Assistant Chief Josh Dossett said later Thursday morning.
The cause and origin of the fire is being investigated by a joint team consisting of members from the Ketchikan Police Department, Ketchikan Fire Department and U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan, according to fire department information.
The fire apparently began at some point before 7:45 a.m. Thursday. That’s when Ketchikan Fire Department Firefighter/Medic Terry Roberts, who driving KFD’s Engine #1 behind the department’s Medic 2 unit that was transporting a patient to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, noticed smoke coming from the Bar Harbor Ramp 1 area, according to department information.
Roberts stopped to take a look and quickly located a boat aflame at Float 5 before calling for a general alarm response and asking for mutual aid from the North Tongass and South Tongass volunteer fire departments, according to KFD information.
“He then used a dry chemical (20-pound ABC) fire extinguisher to initially knock down the fire and began deploying hose lines while waiting for additional units to arrive,” according to KFD information.
As flames and smoke poured from the boat, 911 calls began flooding into the Ketchikan Police Department’s dispatch center.
City of Ketchikan Port and Harbors Department staff quickly arrived on the scene and began moving three boats away from the transient-moorage area where the boat was burning, according to Port and Harbors Director Steve Corporon.
More fire units arrived, and Roberts started putting water on the fire within seven minutes of his original call, according to KFD information.
“The fire was under control within approximately 15 minutes of the initial call,” according to KFD.
Coast Guard Station Ketchikan dispatched two vessels, the CG 45764 45-foot response boat that helped put water on the fire, and the CG 25773 25-foot response boat, according Chief Boatswain’s Mate Jeremy Kastner, officer in charge of Station Ketchikan.
The fire was extinguished completely within 45 minutes, according to KFD information.
Port and Harbors staff put some pumps on board the boat and stabilized it enough that it could be towed to the Bar Harbor launch ramp and trailered, according to Corporon.
The boat then was taken to another location for the investigative work.
Regarding other damage from the incident, there was some heat damage to another boat, and some charring to a bull rail on Float 5, according to Corporon.
“The fire did not breach down below the gunwales, so it looks like the structure of the dock is fine,” he said. “(On) the electrical pedestal across the float from the fire, both of the plastic meter bubbles had damage. One melted a little bit; one melted a lot. ... The dock light right adjacent to the vessel, the light fixture was all sooty and the light fixture at the top pretty much looked like it was toast. But for the harbor infrastructure, I think that's all we're going to find.”
In addition to the above-mentioned entities, Ketchikan Public Utilities Electric Division personnel also responded to the incident, according to KFD.