Fire engulfs 2 yachts at Seaview Harbor Marina

LONGPORT, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Huge flames and smoke hung over the water at Seaview Harbor Marina early Monday morning.

In the parking lot, dozens of emergency response vehicles stood ready as firefighters battled the flames.

"I heard a loud noise," said Michael Stanley who lives near the marina.

Two large boats caught fire at about 1am. Coast Guard officials say the yachts are about 50-60 feet long.

"These are expensive boats," said Scullville Fire Company Chief Steve Prisament.

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Each yacht carried up to 1,000 gallons of fuel, which became a concern for first responders. That fuel did leak into the water. Crews blanketed the fuel in foam to keep the fire from reigniting.

The Coast Guard sent a pollution response team respond to the scene. Coast Guard officials say the marina owners and boat owners will ultimately be responsible for covering the cost of the cleanup. Crews want to prevent any of the fuel from getting into the water.

"We are right at the inlet out to the ocean and the back bays," said Prisament.

The yachts continued to burn even after they were partially submerged in eight feet of water.
Prisament says boat owners who keep their boats in the water during cold months usually have to take precautions.

"They usually keep them powered up all the time. Keep the heat on. Especially these boats."

Longport Fire Department got help from several agencies including Schullville Fire Company in Egg Harbor Township and Margate Fire Department. Coast Guard officials say the National Guard brought a foam truck to the scene. Crews also brought in water tanker from the Atlantic City Airport.

Investigators have not determined a cause of the fire.

There were no injuries reported.

New Jersey State Police are handling the investigation. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is also investigating the environmental impact of the fuel spill.
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