• Concerns over fuel spilling into harbor after fire reignites at Charlestown marina

    By: Blair Miller


    Fire flames shooting from boats docked along the Freedom Trail during an overnight fire in Charlestown ended with two boats sinking, leaving dozens to find new places to sleep.

    The flames reignited Wednesday afternoon at the Constitution Marina, sending firefighters back to the marina, with concerns being raised about fuel spilling into the harbor.

    There were oil containment booms in place at the marina, with boat owners who live there "year-round" not sure when they would be able to return to their homes.

    Boston 25 News camera captured the large flames coming from several of the boats, and Boston 25 News was told the fire started in one yacht before spreading to two others.

    A woman lived onboard one of the three boats, and escaped without getting hurt.

    However, two of the three boats did sink into Boston Harbor.

    Late Wednesday afternoon, firefighters returned to the scene after several hot spots flared up on the boat that didn't sink.

    Owners said boats like those can contain hundreds of gallons of fuel, making it extremely dangerous to fight fires on board. 

    >>PREVIOUS: Three boats destroyed in fire at Charlestown marina; two sink

    "Once the fire gets to a certain point, it will just keep burning because it's got an endless supply of fuel," Lance Ryley said. "Sometimes, it's better to sink the boat and let the water deal with the flames, and deal with the environmental impact afterwards."   

    The Coast Guard says it's not clear how much fuel spilled into the harbor, but the fear is that more will spill when salvage crews attempt to raise the sunken boats.

    About 200 people live in the marina year-round, and a nearby hotel offered rooms at a discounted rate to the residents who couldn't stay on their boats due to the fire.

    The cause of the flames is still under investigation.

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