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Marina Fire in Coconut Grove Claims Three Boats & Severe Damage
Thanks to Sea Tow responders, widespread damage was prevented -VIDEO

Posted Monday, December 19, 2011

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It was another quiet Saturday morning at Grove Harbour Marina in Coconut Grove, FL, but something happened right before 6:30 am. The 65-foot yacht, with a sleeping family of three and a captain aboard, suddenly caught fire.

Henry Manosalva, a security guard at Grove Harbour Marina, called 911, but by the time firefighters arrived, the first boat and additional yachts alongside were engulfed in flames. Local news sources reported that over three dozen firefighters battled a blaze that damaged four luxury yachts. Three of the yachts burned to the waterline.

According to Local News 10, a woman was treated for burns at a hospital, and a man was treated at the scene. Investigators still do not know what caused the fire but said they will look at surveillance video from nearby cameras for clues as to what might have sparked the blaze

According to Ignatius Carroll with Miami Fire Rescue, a security guard noticed the smoke and saw people running from the area.

“A security guard walking the marina noticed a fire coming from the yacht parked at slip 1, pier 1,” Carroll said. “At that time he quickly notified 911 and contacted his superiors.”

Seatow cut the ropes to a 75-foot boat, the Splendour, sending it into the bay so as to create space in between the fire and the boats, Carroll said. The 75-ft Splendour did catch fire due to embers, but firefighters from Miami-Dade were able to put out the flames with their fire boat.

According to, firefighters said putting out the yacht fires were extremely tough because they couldn’t access the source of the flames.

“The difficulty we have is that the fire is in compartments inside the yacht and that makes it very difficult for the water and foam to reach it,” Carroll said. ‘So we’re at the mercy of the fire until it surfaces or until more damage is done so we can get actual water and foam inside.”
Meanwhile, Local News 10 posted an update, stating that the mess left behind should be cleaned up by Wednesday, according to officials. Minimizing the harm to the environment is the main priority in the cleanup, which includes laying out absorbent boom and emptying out fuel and oil tanks.

"These boats carry several thousand gallons of fuel, hydraulics, batteries -- all sorts of different fluids that we want to make sure we contain very quickly," said Rand Pratt of Sea Tow Key Biscayne. Pratt was credited by witnesses as providing a crucial service in quickly removing the Splendour, which created a fire break and prevented further damage to vessels along the entire dock from catching fire, literally saving millions of dollars worth of damage as well as potentially saving lives.

For more video footage of the fire please click on the following links:

Local News 10: Coconut Grove Boat fire should be cleaned up by Wednesday

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