Black smoke billowed from a boat moored at the Eagle Harbor Marina around 1:30 this afternoon. The quick actions of a boater likely prevented a fire and explosion. When he saw the smoke, Matt Small immediately alerted the marina’s Acting Manager, Julie James, who called 911. Cencom dispatched fire crews to the scene.
As they waited for fire crews and police, James and Small rushed to move nearby boats farther down the pier away from the smoke.
The smoke was coming from a recently installed diesel heater. Assistant Fire Chief Luke Carpenter later described the cause as “incomplete combustion.” James helped fire crews identify and contact the owner of the boat who was able, via cell phone, to guide them in the procedures required to shut down the malfunctioning heater. After the scene was secured and fire crews had moved away, Carpenter said with a smile, “We had a very different outcome than we would have had before cell phone technology.”
James said by the time she saw the boat it was “just really pumping out the smoke.” She praised Small for noticing the problem in time.