Published on Monday, 10th June 2019 - 11:33PM06/10/2019
Scituate Harbor boat fire deemed accidental
The June 4 boat fire in Scituate Harbor was accidental according to Scituate Fire Chief John P. Murphy, Scituate Police Chief Michael Stewart, Lt. Colonel Anthony Abdal-Khabir of the Massachusetts Environmental Police, and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey.
The 24-foot Seaswirl Striper boat had just refueled at the Scituate Marina at 48 Jericho Road. Investigators believe that the blowers, which help vapors dissipate, had not been run for sufficient time before starting the engine, and the gasoline vapors ignited.
The fire spread to the marine fueling facility where staff cut off the flow of gasoline and used several fire extinguishers to unsuccessfully fight the fire. Harbormaster staff towed the floating, burning boat away from the marine fuel dock reducing considerable damage to the marina and adjacent boats.
Five people on the boat and seven first responders were injured. The family jumped into the water and were rescued by another boater and brought to shore. A man and a boy were taken to Boston hospitals for treatment for burn injuries.
The boat is a total loss.
During the investigation, it was determined that the operator had no formal boating safety education, which could have significantly reduced the possibility of the fire. The Environmental Police encourage all boaters to take one of the free boating safety courses offered by the Commonwealth.
The fire was jointly investigated by the Massachusetts Environmental Police, since it occurred in the harbor, the Scituate Fire and Police Departments and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marsha