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Old 28-01-2020, 14:59   #1
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Alabama fire: Eight killed as blaze engulfs 35 boats in marina

This has just hit the news in the UK.

A terrible tragedy for all those involved.

I will copy and paste the news item in case those outside the UK cannot open the link.

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At least eight people were killed when a massive fire destroyed dozens of boats in a marina in the US state of Alabama on Monday, officials say.

The fire quickly spread as people slept at Jackson County Park in Scottsboro. The aluminium roof of the wooden dock collapsed, and some of the boats sank.

Seven people who jumped into the water were rescued and taken to hospital.

It was not clear what caused the fire. Rescue teams will search the water to make sure there are no other victims.

The fire started around 00:40 local time (06:40 GMT) and engulfed 35 vessels from house boats to pontoons docked on the Tennessee River. The identities of the victims have not been released.

This is absolutely devastating," Scottsboro Fire Chief Gene Necklaus told reporters. "[It's] one of the most devastating things I've ever seen. I think as we learn more details, that tragedy will continue to grow."

Images posted on social media showed a row of boats engulfed in flames. A witness, Mandy Durham, said the vessels had propane and gas tanks, which probably fueled the fire.

Ms Durham, who was staying at a nearby dock, told the Associated Press news agency that people were jumping onto a boat at the end of the dock because the blaze had engulfed the middle portion of the structure.

But that vessel was also consumed by the flames, leaving them with no other option than to jump into the water. She said most of the boats destroyed belonged to people who lived there permanently, adding: "It's just extremely sad. It's horrible."

Injuries were caused by exposure to the flames or the cold water - all those affected have already been released from hospital. The park in Scottsboro - a town of 14,000 in northern Alabama - includes a boat ramp, a swimming dock and a restaurant.

Mr Necklaus said search and recovery efforts would last at least three to four days, adding: "Our primary objective remains to check every boat, every vessel, everything we can check, to ensure that we have accounted for all the victims."

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-51275437
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Old 28-01-2020, 18:01   #2
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Re: Alabama fire: Eight killed as blaze engulfs 35 boats in marina

Not much left
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Old 28-01-2020, 19:25   #3
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Re: Alabama fire: Eight killed as blaze engulfs 35 boats in marina

Wow. Not a common occurrence. Thankfully.

Terrible thing to see. Couldn't have happened at a worse time.
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Old 28-01-2020, 19:53   #4
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Re: Alabama fire: Eight killed as blaze engulfs 35 boats in marina

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Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
Wow. Not a common occurrence. Thankfully.

Terrible thing to see. Couldn't have happened at a worse time.
True, not common, but ironic that is the second marina fire in Alabama in roughly a year. Luckily the Mobile fire was during the daytime and no human life was lost.
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Old 28-01-2020, 20:49   #5
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Re: Alabama fire: Eight killed as blaze engulfs 35 boats in marina

What a terrible tragedy. It must have really been quick and intense - so many people caught in it. The dive boat fire, a few months ago - was the same thing - people cut off by flames and smoke... It makes one think about the layouts of various places.
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Old 28-01-2020, 22:35   #6
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Re: Alabama fire: Eight killed as blaze engulfs 35 boats in marina

Once fiberglass gets burning...there really is no way to stop it...then eventually it's gets to fuel tanks.

Very sad for these folks.
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Old 29-01-2020, 10:04   #7
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Re: Alabama fire: Eight killed as blaze engulfs 35 boats in marina

Not only am I stunned by this tragedy, one of the boats we were looking at as a liveaboard was destroyed in this fire. My prayers for those families, and my sympathies to the seller.
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Old 29-01-2020, 10:52   #8
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Re: Alabama fire: Eight killed as blaze engulfs 35 boats in marina

RIP and condolences for the families and friends of those lost. There was one article I read that suggested the cause was electrical in nature. We may not know for sure for a while, if ever.

One item of note is that this set of piers had an aluminum roof over it, which is often seen in the southern U.S. This likely was a contributing factor in the rapid spread laterally. This will contain the heat and flames, and spread them sideways.

BoatUS, an advocacy group for boaters in the U.S, did some analysis of boat fires recently and found that around half of boat fires were of an undetermined cause, however for those where the cause was known, just over half were electrical in nature. Of those, just over half were caused in some way by shore power. I have posted a link that talks about why shore power can be dangerous if not impeccably maintained.
https://marinehowto.com/shore-power-...tplug-vs-1938/

Again, we don't know the cause as I type this, but it is worth reading the link.

This is sad, and hopefully we can learn something to prevent future incidents.
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Old 29-01-2020, 11:10   #9
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Re: Alabama fire: Eight killed as blaze engulfs 35 boats in marina

Question. How many of you have 1 or more smoke alarms on board? Auto fire extinguishers?
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Old 29-01-2020, 11:20   #10
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Re: Alabama fire: Eight killed as blaze engulfs 35 boats in marina

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Question. How many of you have 1 or more smoke alarms on board? Auto fire extinguishers?





2 smoke/co2 alarms on a 35 ft boat. co2 scares me more.
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Old 29-01-2020, 11:31   #11
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Re: Alabama fire: Eight killed as blaze engulfs 35 boats in marina

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2 smoke/co2 alarms on a 35 ft boat. co2 scares me more.
I think you mean co rather co2 ???
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Old 29-01-2020, 17:04   #12
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Re: Alabama fire: Eight killed as blaze engulfs 35 boats in marina

CO2 is correct. It refers to Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers.
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Old 29-01-2020, 19:26   #13
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Re: Alabama fire: Eight killed as blaze engulfs 35 boats in marina

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CO2 is correct. It refers to Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers.
Please read the comment again. The reference made was for "alarms" not soda type extinguishers.
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Old 29-01-2020, 20:59   #14
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Re: Alabama fire: Eight killed as blaze engulfs 35 boats in marina

According to the fire chief investigating a boat fire at the marina where I live part-time, the most common type of electrical fire on a boat in a marina is a faulty phone charger. Apparently corrosion has its way with those tiny circuits, many of which are cheaply made to begin with. Also, I wonder what percentage of phone chargers cause fires on 120 and 240 volt AC circuits vs. 12 volt circuits. At any rate, I no longer leave any circuit connected when not aboard, with the exception of the dehumidifier which I plan to take apart and inspect for corrosion. Also, in case it might reduce the risk of fire, I charge my phone, kindle and tablet only on a 5 amp fused 12 volt source when I am aboard. Also, now I heed the warning on the automatic propane shutoff valve which states to turn it off when propane is not being used.
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Old 30-01-2020, 06:29   #15
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Re: Alabama fire: Eight killed as blaze engulfs 35 boats in marina

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Originally Posted by Taipe View Post
According to the fire chief investigating a boat fire at the marina where I live part-time, the most common type of electrical fire on a boat in a marina is a faulty phone charger. Apparently corrosion has its way with those tiny circuits, many of which are cheaply made to begin with. Also, I wonder what percentage of phone chargers cause fires on 120 and 240 volt AC circuits vs. 12 volt circuits. At any rate, I no longer leave any circuit connected when not aboard, with the exception of the dehumidifier which I plan to take apart and inspect for corrosion. Also, in case it might reduce the risk of fire, I charge my phone, kindle and tablet only on a 5 amp fused 12 volt source when I am aboard. Also, now I heed the warning on the automatic propane shutoff valve which states to turn it off when propane is not being used.
I doubt that statement about phone chargers as being number one cause of fires. They don't rank on the top 6 from Boat US insurance.
Quote:
6 causes of boat fires
Prevent fires by checking these trouble spots

6 causes of boat fires
Fire ranks number five among all boat losses, according to the BoatUS Marine Insurance Program claims files. Prevent fire aboard your boat by learning from what they reveal about the top six causes of boat fires:

1.Off-the-boat sources
A quarter of the time, a BoatUS member’s boat burns when something else goes up in flames—the boat next to theirs, the marina, their garage or even a neighbor’s house. It’s every boater’s responsibility to prevent fires, but when all else fails, having a good boat insurance policy is key.
2.Engine electrical
For boats older than 25 years, old wiring harnesses take a disproportionate chunk of the blame. A good electrical technician can put one together for you as most boats of this age have relatively simple electrical systems.
3.Other DC electrical
The most common cause of battery-related fires is faulty installation—reversing the positive and negative cables or misconnecting them in series (when they should be in parallel). So take a picture. Label the cables. Use red fingernail polish to mark the positive lug. Do everything to hook it up right the first time.
4.AC electrical
Most AC electrical fires start between the shore power pedestal and the boat’s shore power inlet. Inspect the shore power cord routinely (connector ends especially) and, for boats older than 10 years, inspect or replace the boat’s shore power inlet.
5.Other engine
Fire can start when an engine overheats due to a blocked raw-water intake or mangled impeller; the latter can result from a grounding or running in mucky waters. Be sure to check the engine compartment after getting underway and replace the impeller every other year.
6.Batteries
On older outboards, the most common cause of fires by far is the voltage regulator. At 10 years of age, failure rates on these important electrical components begin to climb. Once a regulator hits 15 years old, it’s time to replace it.
6 causes of boat fires
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