Investigators: Boat fire an accident
PUNTA GORDA — Officials say the fire at Gator Creek Marine on Sunday was an accident.
Dave Lepper, an investigator for the State Fire Marshal’s Office, said he believes the marina fire was caused by an electrical short.
At about 12:30 p.m. Sunday, five boats in dry storage caught fire. Four were destroyed. Firefighters arrived at 12:37 p.m. and had the blaze under control in about 20 minutes, according to Dee Hawkins-Garland, spokeswoman for Charlotte County Fire/EMS.
Gregg Cameron, 70, who lives near the marina, saw the fire and said the flames were over 30 feet high and a plume of black smoke extended straight into the clouds.
Tim Lisby, who co-owns the marina on Deltona Drive with his brother, said he thought the blaze was the result of an electrical short that sparked a flame, which gained momentum in the breeze.
Lisby, whose family has owned the marina since the 1970s, said it was their first fire.