People injured, boats destroyed in NC marina fire


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Washington, N.C. — A fire at McCotter's Marina in Beaufort County injured three people and damaged at least 25 boats Friday morning, authorities said.

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said the 911 call came in around 12:30 a.m. When crews arrived on the scene, they said the north dock was engulfed in flames.

Seven fire departments worked for about five hours to put out the fire.
"The fire itself was very intense," said John Pack, director of emergency management for Beaufort County. "It became a matter of containing the damage and keeping it from spreading to the other boats."
McCotter's Marina, which has 180 slips, is on Broad Creek, just off the Pamlico River east of Washington and about 35 miles inland from Pamlico Sound.

Most of the damaged boats were a total loss, and about 100 feet of the covered dock also was destroyed, authorities said.

"Trying to fight a fire out on a dock is a very hard thing," Pack said.
Three people were treated for injuries, including burns and hypothermia. At least one woman jumped into the water to escape the fire, authorities said.

"We were just blessed no one was more seriously injured," Pack said.
People live on about seven or eight boats at the marina, but everyone has been accounted for, authorities said.

U.S. Coast Guard crews were assessing the environmental impact of the incident and helping contain debris from damaged boats, authorities said.
Eastern Environmental, a private hazardous materials contractor, has been called in to clear spilled fuel from the water.

Authorities haven't determined the cause of the explosion and fire, but Pack said foul play isn't suspected.

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