A boat generator backfired while docked at Dock 6 at Portman Marina on Lake Hartwell, starting a fire that has destroyed at least 20 boats and injured at least one person, who has been taken to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia.
According to the Independent Mail, the fire quickly spread and is still active, and being battled by fire fighters from land and air. The fire was reported after 12 noon, and emergency crews have requested help from all available firefighters in Anderson and Oconee counties.
The SCDNR, American Red Cross are helping local personnel to fight the fire, which has been tough to control due to the amount of fuel stored on each boat.
Greg Shore, who owns Medshore Ambulance Service in Anderson, SC said his own boat has been destroyed in the fire. He is friends with the man whose generator caused the fire. His friend is the one who suffered burn injuries and is at the Burn Center.
Shore said his boat had about 200 gallons of fuel on it, and said the other boats have plenty of fuel on them as well, giving the fire an environment that is making it tough to beat.
Take 200 (gallons of fuel) and multiply it by 20 boats, and that’s what you fueling this thing. We are praying that the firefighters stay safe and hydrated,” said Shore.
According to locals on the scene, despite emergency peronnel’s best efforts, the fire is still spreading and has engulfed other docks and marina buildings.