A houseboat docked in Alameda’s Fortman Marina caught fire shortly after noon today, Wednesday, March 30.
Firefighters were able to contain the blaze and found no one aboard the vessel.
The Alameda Journal/Bay Area News Group reported that the live-aboard boat is about 35 feet long. It was gutted by the blaze, according to Interim Alameda Fire Chief Mike Fisher.
A veteran sailor who witnessed the blaze, said that he heard no explosion before the fire started. Some “popping” noises were heard later, though.
The plume of smoke could be seen around Fortman Marina, nearby Grand Marina, Coast Guard Island and from the other side of the Oakland-Alameda Estuary.
No other boats or structures were affected by the fire.
The burnt houseboat was located close to a covered docking area. “If the boat had been in the covered area, instead of on the downwind side, then the blaze could have spread to other vessels and been much worse,” said the witness, who preferred to remain anonymous. “Fiberglass boats are very flammable.”
(Contributed photos by James Fryer.)