Fire crews battle large fire at boat storage facility in NE Port - KPTV - FOX 12

Fire crews battle large fire at boat storage facility in NE Portland

Posted: Updated: Feb 29, 2016 10:03 AM
Courtesy: Portland Fire & Rescue Courtesy: Portland Fire & Rescue
Courtesy: Portland Fire & Rescue Courtesy: Portland Fire & Rescue
Air 12 over Sundance Marina fire Air 12 over Sundance Marina fire

Firefighters responded to a large 4-alarm fire at a boat storage facility in northeast Portland late Sunday night.

Portland Fire & Rescue arrived at the warehouse fire at the Sundance Marina on Hayden Island around 10:30 p.m.  

At the time of the fire, the marina had around 350 boats dry docked inside the warehouse in a stacked system, according to officials.

"It was pretty crazy," said boat owner Jason Klein.  "I could hear gas tanks blowing off, it sounded like popcorn in a microwave."

Firefighters said there were forced to use a “defensive” fire attack due to the size of the structure and the size of the fire.

Crews used aerial trucks to fight the fire from an elevated position.

The marina is located on an island and fire hydrants are scarce. Officials said crews used three fire boats to supply water from the river to the firefighters on the scene.

About two hours into the fire part of the structure began to collapse, according to Portland Fire & Rescue.

"It was a column of smoke, like a mountain so black and so high it looked like you could climb up it," said witness Victor Bono. 

Some boat owners gathered at the scene and said they are upset about this unfortunate incident. 

"I'm kind of numb. I was looking forward to summertime and I was ready to get back out on the water," said one owner whose boat was docked inside the warehouse. 

"I'm pretty sure my boat is right there, and I'd say it's very gone," said boat owner Dale Lang. 

Over 100 personnel from both Portland and Vancouver fire departments were on the scene. The U.S. Coast Guard was also called to advise for potential water-related hazards.  

"It's heartbreaking to see people over here hugging and crying," said Bono. "The manager is crying, she got some stuff out of the office at least.  But, I love boats and its heartbreaking, I want to cry, its very sad."

Booming was used to help prevent any contaminants from entering the water. 

Crews were still at the scene Monday working to extinguish the fire completely. Investigators were not able to get into the structure Monday, but expected to go inside Tuesday to investigate the cause of the fire. 

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