Several boats torched in NC marina fire; officials say cause of blaze remains unknown


CORNELIUS, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — Firefighters say this blaze from overnight at a Lake Norman Marina could have been a whole lot worse, and officials say early morning fishermen are to thank for keeping the blaze at bay.

The fire happened about halfway down a dock, and an official with the Cornelius Fire Department tells FOX 46 that many boat owners here are extremely lucky that their boat didn’t catch fire, too.

The flames broke out around 3 a.m. Friday. A photo from the Huntersville Fire Department shows just how bad it was.

“We’re lucky that there were a couple of guys out this morning, fishing around 3:00 this morning, happened to see the fire,” said EJ McCormick with the Cornelius Fire Department.

A pontoon boat on the left and a sailboat on the right, along with several other boats nearby were hit.

“With the boats so close together, it’s amazing we didn’t have a greater loss than we did,” McCormick said.

McCormick was out fighting the blaze on the docks. There are still telltale signs around that area that there was a ‘boom’ in the water, and not too far away what remains of the pontoon boat that caught fire.

The Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal’s Office is still looking at the boat to determine a cause.

“The sailboat wound up sinking because it had taken on so much water,” McCormick said.

Authorities can’t say for certain just yet in this case, but McCormick says fires on boats this time of year are not unusual.

“Heater, electrical cords, are in boats to maintain them over the winter time. It’s my recommendation, if you’re not taking your boat out on the water, go down once a week and make sure it’s okay.”

For now, they say they’re just thankful someone had an eye out, so only two boats caught fire and not a whole dock.

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