Fire destroys fishing boat at Nine Mile Creek

Published on December 22, 2015

Nine Mile Creek wharf

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Sets wharf on fire before drifting off, propelled by bitter cold wind that makes firefighting a frigid time

A fishing boat tied to the Nine Mile Creek wharf caught fire Saturday night and went adrift.

"The boat went probably about 300 to 400 feet away from the dock area," said Kirby Wakelin, fire chief of the North River department of what firefighters first encountered.

North River department got the call just before 9 p.m. Saturday from a resident who saw the flames as he was driving by.

"It was very windy," said Wakelin. "It was hard to stand on your feet."

He said it appeared that the boat had caught fire, set the wharf on fire, then burned such that it let go and drifted off.

He said the circumstances of the wind direction and place where the boat was tied kept the situation from being far worse.

There were more boats in the water inside the wharf pen, being actively used in the mussel fishery until the first freeze, said Wakelin. This boat was to the outside of the pen and drifted to open water before coming to rest in shallow water.

"We couldn't put out the boat because it was so far out of the reach of our dousing guns so we just concentrated on putting the fire out on the wharf, said Wakelin.

"We had a hard time getting the water down on the sides because of the angle of it," he said.

The department used a special hose nozzle and put a man in a safety harness over the edge to get the fire out.

He said he has not been told of the cause but the RCMP told local media that a block heater malfunctioned on the boat.

No one was on board and no one was hurt in the incident.