Boat destroyed, dock sustains $50K damage in fire at Hagg Lake - KPTV - FOX 12

Boat destroyed, dock sustains $50K damage in fire at Hagg Lake

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A boat fire caused $50,000 damage to a dock at Henry Hagg Lake. (Photo: Washington Co. Sheriff's Office) A boat fire caused $50,000 damage to a dock at Henry Hagg Lake. (Photo: Washington Co. Sheriff's Office)
The fire was caused by an engine backfiring, according to investigators. (Photo: Washington Co. Sheriff's Office) The fire was caused by an engine backfiring, according to investigators. (Photo: Washington Co. Sheriff's Office)
GASTON, OR (KPTV) -

A boat fire caused $50,000 in damage to a dock at Henry Hagg Lake.

Washington County Sheriff's Office Marin Patrol deputies responded to reports of a fire at the lake in Gaston at 10:13 a.m. Sunday.

They arrived to find a 1978 Manta Ray fiberglass boat tied to the boat dock that had been burned down to the water line.

The fire also destroyed a 30-foot section of the composite plastic boat dock.

Gaston firefighter responded to put out the rest of the fire.

Deputies contacted the owner of the boat, Stephen Graham, 50, of St. Helens, and learned that when he started the engine, it backfired.

Graham told investigators he used his fire extinguisher, but the fire spread too quickly and the intense heat drove others back until firefighters could reach the scene.

Deputies said the boat was equipped with a backfire flame arrester, which is designed to cool and disperse any flames in the event of an engine backfire. However, deputies could not confirm if it was working properly because the fire destroyed the device.

Park officials estimate the damage to the boat dock will exceed $50,000. Boat ramp "C" will remain open, but water traffic will be slowed from three lanes to two lanes for the remainder of the season.

Nobody was injured in the fire.

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