Boat destroyed, dog killed during morning boat fire in Agate Pass

A 30-foot boat caught fire this morning by the Agate Pass bridge. - Martin Bydalek / Contributed
A 30-foot boat caught fire this morning by the Agate Pass bridge.
— image credit: Martin Bydalek / Contributed

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — A 30-foot motorboat was destroyed and a dog is thought to be dead following a vessel fire in Agate Pass on May 10.

It took emergency crews and bystanders approximately two hours to extinguish the flames. No injuries to humans were reported.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue crews were dispatched to a boat fire in the water at 6:41 a.m., when a bystander on land called it in. NKF&R spokesperson Michele Laboda said land crews arrived about 6:50 a.m. and the fire boat, stationed in Kingston, arrived about 15 minutes later. The U.S. Coast Guard and several private vessels arrived on scene to assist.

Bainbridge Island Fire Chief Hank Teran said their fire vessel was undergoing an upgrade at the time of the fire and did not send a vessel, according to the Bainbridge Island Review.

A man and his dog left the Brownsville Marina south of Keyport this morning, driving a 30-foot motor vessel, followed by a friend in another boat. The friend noticed a "problem," and pulled along side, according to Laboda. The friend was able to get the man off the burning vessel, but unable to save the dog.

Island photographer Martin Bydalek got a fiery start to his morning.

"I woke up to the sound of helicopters and looked out and I saw a burning boat on the water," Bydalek said.

Bydalek watched the boat for a short time as it drifted in the water and continued to burn. Aside from a few onlookers, and a news helicopter, no one was around to tend to the fire.

"Just like car fires, once a boat or car starts burning, it's usually catastrophic," Laboda said. "The amount of plastic, all the fiberglass, all of which burns very, very well once it gets started.

"We're very, very grateful to the man's friend for getting the man off the burning boat."

She said the man was transferred to a Coast Guard boat and did not report any injuries.

The boat, with the assistance of the Coast Guard, was towed back to Brownsville Marina.

"It appears the fire started around battery shore[power] connection," said David Lynam, Kitsap County Fire Marshal. Because of the damage from the fire and water, Lynam said it is difficult to pinpoint the cause, but damage from a power inverter is not uncommon.

— Bainbridge Island Review reporter Richard D. Oxley contributed to this report.


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