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Firefighters and investigators are still probing an early morning fire at Ocean Beach Marina that destroyed five boats.

“When we got here, five boats were fully engulfed in the fire,” Kevin Perrone of the Lanoka Harbor Fire Company said. “We just pulled the supply line in and soaked it down.”

Five boats were destroyed, and one is severely damaged, Perrone said. The boats, which varied in size to over 40 feet in length, were in dry storage and located at the southeast corner of the marina’s property.

The fire company was dispatched at 1:30 a.m. A total of 46 firefighters from the Forked River, Bayville and Waretown fire companies brought the fire under control by 3:30 a.m. and left by 5:30 a.m.

“The wind caused it to spread real fast,” Perrone said. “Between the chemicals, gasoline and fiber glass burning, it was tough to put out.”

Several boat owners were at the scene of the fire as the companies worked to contain it, he said.

“They were upset,” he said. “It was like losing a family member.”

Lisa Goins of Whiting and her husband, George, had spent Wednesday working on their boat at the marina and had decided to sleep on the boat after the hard day’s work.

It was Lisa who was awakened by the fire.

“I heard this weird sound, like rain,” she said, “and I jumped up to bring George’s tools in so they wouldn’t get wet.”

The next thing she heard, however, was a roaring sound, and she saw the stern of one boat, located across the road from the Goins' boat, completely engulfed in flames.

Unable to get a signal on her cell phone to call for help, Lisa and George began running to nearby houses and knocking on doors to find someone to call 9-1-1. One man answered his door, but had phone troubles. Finally, he got a cell phone signal and they were able to report the fire.

“We were about go to Wawa to call,” said Goins, who said her first attempt to call was at 1:22 a.m. They were finally able to get through at 1:29 a.m.

By the time they got back to their boat, four boats were burning, she said.

In the winter, marinas store boats out of the water in dry dock, and many boat owners pay to have their boats shrink-wrapped after they’ve cleaned them and prepared them for winter storage.

The proximity of the boats to one another and the flammability of the shrink wrap appeared to be making it difficult for the firefighters to put the fire out. For more than an hour they poured water on the flames, seemingly extinguishing it several times, only to have more flames flare up. As of 2:45 a.m. the fire continued to burn.

Joseph Zaccaro lives around the corner from the marina and was not aware of the fire until 8 a.m.

“I didn’t hear the sirens,” he said. “I slept through the whole thing.”

The outcome is “sick,” he said as he stared at the damage. “A lot of people are getting ready to put their boats in the water for the summer. It’s sad.”

Zaccaro’s boat is already in the water, he said. “I’m lucky.”

The marina is safe, he said. “This (incident) is one in a million.”

Zaccaro was concerned about what insurance the affected boat owners held. He, for example, only has liability.

“I would have lost everything (if his boat was involved),” he said. “I would definitely be devastated having to start all over.”

Nearby reeds and a telephone pole also sustained damage, police reported. JCP&L responded concerning the damaged telephone pole and wires. The cause of the blaze is currently unknown, Perrone said.

The Ocean County Fire Marshal, Prosecutors Office, Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Unit and Lacey Township Police are investigating the incident.

The investigation could take some time and depends on whether any evidence is found, Perrone said. Investigators are going boat by boat.

An owner of one of the damaged boats declined to comment.

Goins, who discovered the fire, said the boat owners lost more than a material possession.

"It's not just a boat, it's a lifestyle," she said.
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Thanks for the concern but not me. Happened across town at Ocean Beach Marina in Lanoka Harbor. Pretty bad from what I heard but not sure if it's anyone's boat I know, really sucks. I got a few calls today making sure I was all right lol. There really is no such place as Lacey Marina, but we get called it a lot.
 

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at least no one was hurt- still amazes me that there are dead cell areas at many shore locations.
 

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My SWAG = portable heater plugged into cabin boat for freeze protection by one of these A) electrical system overheats and starts fire or B) something combustible fell onto heater and starts fire. Every winter there are large marina fires started by a electric heater of some sort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the concern but not me. Happened across town at Ocean Beach Marina in Lanoka Harbor. Pretty bad from what I heard but not sure if it's anyone's boat I know, really sucks. I got a few calls today making sure I was all right lol. There really is no such place as Lacey Marina, but we get called it a lot.
Oh, the other Lacey Marine!;)
 
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