PAGE — The Page Fire Department was dispatched to the All Seasons Boat and Mini Storage at 9:15 a.m. April 18. Fire officials said they could see black smoke reaching about 300 feet into the air from the station.
All off-duty and reserve firefighters were immediately called in. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area management was asked to send an engine and crew, and the Greenehaven Fire District and Big Water Fire Department were placed on standby.
Upon arrival officials found two houseboats fully engulfed in flames with propane tanks exploding and two other houseboats burning rapidly.
Firefighters began attacking the fire at 9:20 a.m.
Engine 10 hooked a hydrant on the corner of Border Street and Industrial Drive and laid 850 feet of 4-inch supply line.
Water pressure was very low, however, and city the water department was asked to increase water pressure from the pump station between Coppermine Road and State Route 98.
Off-duty firefighters were asked to bring Airport 1 to the scene for foam application.
Ladder 1 arrived and laid in its own supply line and began fire attack from above.
Using the turret gun on top of the aerial ladder firefighters were able to apply water where nobody on the ground could. That’s what allowed ground crews to get the upper hand.
The fire was knocked down in 15 minutes. It was totally extinguished and mopped up in an hour and 15 minutes.
During mop up it was discovered that an unexploded propane tank was still venting explosive gas. This complication took several minutes of work to abate.
PFD investigation revealed that the boat owners were from California and had been working on the vessel doing engine tune-up and interior varnishing. They apparently were not on scene when the fire initiated.
The scene was turned over to Page police for continued investigation.
The winds were calm and the first response rapid or the fire would have spread to other boats and vehicles in the area.
Estimated losses are more than $1 million.
The rapid response and appropriate fire apparatus prevented the fire from spreading and becoming much worse.
When pressure on a propane cylinder releases because the tanks fail, the fire and subsequent explosions places firefighters in extreme danger.
The explosion is even more deadly because of the flying pieces of metal and associated debris frequently found hundreds of feet away.
This is an edited version of a news release from the Page Fire Department.
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