"The flames were unbelievable…I thought it was a house on fire.”
Those were the words of Dan Perrino, of Toms River, NJ, who looked outside his window Friday morning to see big black plumes of smoke coming from the lagoon. He thought it was a house and drove quickly to where the smoke was coming from.
Except it wasn’t a house.
A loose boat was found floating on its own Friday afternoon -- engulfed in fire.
When it finally came to rest on someone’s bulkhead, Perrino says the flames were so high up that they were touching the trees surrounding it.
Firefighters eventually came to settle the blaze, initially almost pushing the boat into another craft. When all was put out, they towed the boat away as witnesses watched.
But no one claimed the boat.
“This whole thing is a mystery,” Perrino told NBCNewYork. “It seems unlikely the fire would start on its own.”
He and other witnesses speculated and joked that it could be a wife trying to get even, or that a body was in the boat.
But no one really knows where the boat came from — let alone, who started the fire.
Even the Toms River Fire Dept. couldn't immediately say what happened to the boat or whom it belonged to.
In a town home to many beaches and full of boaters, one can only hope that details come to the forefront.
Until then, keep an eye out for anyone missing a boat.