Up in smoke
Thick smoke blanketed a Pembroke neighbourhood yesterday as huge flames erupted from a motor yacht.
While it is understood no one was on the 51ft Bertram, Sum Girl, the blaze caused extensive damage to the boat and a towering pillar of smoke was visible from both ends of the island.
The owner of the boat was contacted, but declined to comment about the fire.
According to a representative for the Bermuda Police Service, emergency services received a call about a suspected boat fire shortly after 3pm, with marine police arriving on the scene shortly after.
A Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman, Acting Lieutenant Russann Francis, said in a statement at about 4.30pm: “On our arrival, the incident commander reported the boat to have visible smoke and flames issuing.
“The Fire Service responded to the incident with nine vehicles and 13 personnel. A preliminary investigation into the cause of the fire has commenced.”
Boats moored alongside the vessel were moved to help prevent damage as firefighters worked for hours to extinguish the flames.
Access to Mariners Lane was limited for much of the afternoon to allow a succession of firetrucks to bring water to combat the blaze.
Despite their best efforts, the fire continued to burn into the evening, with firefighters still on the scene after 8pm.
However, some members of the public expressed concerns that efforts were being hindered by the narrow and winding roads leading to the moored vessel.
“Even if they could get the trucks all the way down here, there’s no way they could turn them around, so they have to run a hose halfway down the hill,” said one area woman, who asked not to be named.
“You would think there would be some sort of boat they could use.”
None of the local residents who spoke with The Royal Gazette saw how the fire began. They said they were drawn out of their homes by the smoke and the sound of firetrucks.
“I heard the truck coming around a little after 3pm,” one Mariners Lane resident said. “The first thing I saw when I looked out was the smoke. It was everywhere. Thankfully it’s not my boat, and it doesn’t look like the fire is going to spread.”
Meanwhile Jasmin Smith said: “I could smell it as soon as I got off the bus. There is just so much smoke everywhere. I’m glad no one was hurt.”
A Crescent Hill resident said last night he had heard about the fire on Facebook and was relieved to return home to find everything intact.
“My first thought was I hoped it wasn’t my house, but I called a friend and they said it was a boat on the dock,” he said. “I was a bit worried that I had left my windows open and all of the smoke would get in, but thankfully that wasn’t the case.
“I was locked up tight. Now I just have to hope I didn’t get anything in my tank.”
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