BELMAR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A large fire damaged at least a dozen boats at a marina in New Jersey, according to authorities.
As CBS2’s Jessica Borg reported, on Tuesday afternoon, questions were rising about the marina and its owner.
No injuries were reported and no buildings were damaged in the blaze at the Seaport Inlet Marina in Belmar, which apparently broke out around 1 p.m. It was brought under control about 40 minutes later.
Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty tweeted that power was going to be cut on 5th Avenue between Main and B Street as firefighters worked to put the fire under control.
Photos and video from the scene show several dry-dock boats ablaze along with clouds of thick, black smoke.
Firefighters from Belmar and several nearby towns fought the blaze, which produced clouds of thick, black smoke that were visible from a distance.
Residents could smell the chemicals that burned with the boats.
“I smelled the fiber glass and diesel fuel,” one resident said.
About a dozen boats were completely charred.
“This was an accident waiting to happen. I’m just glad nobody was hurt,” a Stefanie O’Donnell said.
O’Donnell lives across the street from the marina. She and others were evacuated from their homes because fire officials were concerned about the possibility of an explosion.
O’Donnell said she’s been worried for months about a fire breaking out. She claims there are too many boats being docked and that she’s complained to the owner before.
She also claims that he’s building a structure without a permit.
“Someone with the investigation told me he had no permit for the structure that he was attempting to build,” she said.
Harold King lives in an apartment inside the marine, and said he’s not sure about the situation.
“I wouldn’t say that it was over-occupied,” he said.
He’s happy his dog was saved.
“She was under the bed with all the smoke coming in because the way the wind was hitting. We were nervous for her, but she’s good now,” he said.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
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