14 Boats Destroyed in Long Island Marina Fire

It began when a boat exploded, then spread to other vessels

By Katy Tur
|  Thursday, Feb 2, 2012  |  Updated 10:42 AM EDT
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Workers, Boats Burned in Marina Fire

NBC New York

Scene of boat yard fire in Freeport Wednesday

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Fourteen boats were damaged in an extensive boat yard fire in the Long Island village of Freeport Wednesday, officials said.

The fire started when a vessel exploded while two men were working on the boat just before 4 p.m., according to Village of Freeport Mayor Andrew Hardwick. The workers were removing a motor from one of the dry-docked boats.

The fire spread, destroying 14 pleasure boats.

About 200 firefighters from eight departments battled the blaze for almost two hours. In addition to the 14 boats destroyed, six other boats sustained less serious damage.

"My house was two houses away, and I could feel the heat in front of the deck -- and I was upwind," said neighbor John Stecker.

The two boat workers were hospitalized for serious burns on their faces, arms and hands, sources said. They're both expected to be OK.

While the fire was "quite serious," with flames at times reaching about 40 feet, Hardwick said the wind wasn't working against them and he was thankful there weren't more serious injuries.

Approved Marine, which owns the boat yard, would only say its primary concern was for the well-being of the two injured workers.

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