Three boats moored at Garden Bay’s Pender Harbour Resort and Marina were destroyed and one was severely damaged by a fire that started on Feb. 10, resort owner Jeff Peifer told Coast Reporter by email.
Resort guest Kinza Arshad called 911 to report the fire, according to Peifer.
Pender Harbour Fire Chief Don Murray said the department was dispatched to the scene between 9 and 10 p.m. that evening. One truck and about 15 personnel responded and battled the flames until after 2 a.m.
“It was a difficult fire because it was at the very far end of the dock so we had to move all of our equipment all the way to the head of the dock to get into position. Our main goal was to keep the fire from taking over the rest of the float.…Boat fires are generally very difficult to deal with, but we were successful in keeping this one from getting worse,” Murray said.
Peifer credited Arshad with helping to stop the fire’s spread and saving at least one yacht moored near the flames by untying it. Fire department personnel also untied and manoeuvered a number of other boats out of harm’s way.
No injuries related to the incident were reported according to Murray and no cause of the fire has been determined. A number of minor propane explosions occurred while the department was on scene, which Murray attributed to small propane tanks or cylinders that were onboard the watercraft involved. He said that these were “nothing that endangered anyone.”
In his email, Peifer stated the marina was full, with 90 boats on the docks when the fire started. He confirmed that none of the boats were “live-aboards” as the resort does not provide that type of moorage.
He noted that the three boats destroyed were all approximately 35-foot power craft and that a 40 foot sailboat also involved “is close to a write off”. His best estimate is that “total loss and recovery costs will reach $800,000," but that the marina docks suffered remarkably “minimal” damage.