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Refuelling likely cause of Shuswap Lake marina fire, say police, fire dept.

Salmon Arm police and the fire department say early indicators from Monday’s blaze indicate that a boat being refuelled sparked the incident, with police noting there was no criminal intent. Keith Phare / Submitted

A marina fire on Shuswap Lake that injured one person appears to have been accidental.

Salmon Arm RCMP say early indicators from Monday’s blaze at Captain’s Cove Marina indicate that a boat being refuelled sparked the incident and that there was no criminal intent.

The Salmon Arm Fire Department agreed, telling Global News that their preliminary investigation has the cause being a boat being refuelled, with an explosion happening after the boat was started.

Read more: Several boats destroyed, one person hurt in major marina fire on B.C.’s Shuswap Lake

Fire Chief Brad Shirley said quick-thinking staff pushed the boat away from the fuel dock and made sure the gas pumps were shut off.

“Unfortunately, though, the boat floated into four other boats, totally destroying them as well,” said Shirley.

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In all, five were destroyed, with another sustaining damage. The dock system also sustained fire damage.

The fire chief said one individual in the boat was taken to hospital.

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Emergency health services said two paramedic crews were dispatched to the scene, just before 1 p.m., with one person being transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Shirley noted that crews from three fire halls were dispatched to fight the fire. He said there were no explosions while crews were there, but there were reports of explosions while crews were en route.

The fire chief said any fire can be dangerous, but that ones involving boats can be tricky, as fiberglass and fuel are involved.

In this case, though, he said the docks were located relatively close to shore, so crews were able to hastily douse it.

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Read more: Recent drownings in Okanagan stark reminders of water safety

“It was a fairly spectacular blaze, with the amount of smoke being produced by all the boats, but all the crews were able to knock it down pretty quickly,” said Shirley.

The fire chief said the marina will be closed while the fire is investigated, and that booms were placed on the water to help collect any gas that might have escaped.

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