A marina fire in Scottsboro, Alabama, earlier this year illustrated how such a situation can turn tragic in just minutes.
At 12:35 a.m. on January 27, 2020, a man living aboard a houseboat at Jackson County Park Marina awoke to a “popping” sound and smoke filled the cabin. According to the report from the National Transportation Safety Board, the owner told investigators he saw flames coming from the forward bulkhead near the vessel’s electrical panel.
He emptied his fire extinguisher on the flames then went to the neighbor’s boat to get another extinguisher. When he returned to his boat the fire had grown and using the second extinguisher had little effect on the fire.
The boat owner called 911 at 12:38 a.m. When Scottsboro police officers arrived seven minutes later, they reported the whole dock was on fire. The fire department arrived four minutes later. “Within 10-12 minutes every boat under the dock was somehow involved,” said Scottsboro Fire Department Chief Gene Necklaus.