Boat fire extinguished Sunday at Zittel's Marina in Olympia

Staff writerMay 28, 2014 

The Thurston County Sheriff's recently-acquired marine services boat helped extinguish a fire aboard a 23-foot pleasure craft Sunday at Zittel's Marina off of Johnson Point Road.

The fiberglass pleasure boat caught fire at Zittel's Marina about 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Mike Zittel, manager of the marina, said the owner of the boat "was trying to start it after he had done some repair work and something exploded and then it caught fire."

The 23-foot Sea Ray, named "Sparky," was quickly towed from its slip after marina employees worked to extinguish the fire, Zittel said. "We put it down to where it was just kind of smoldering," Zittel said.

It is of vital importance to tow boats from marinas if they catch fire, so the flames don't spread to other vessels, according to the Thurston County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office's new boat, "Integrity," arrived from its moorage at the Swantown Marina in about 20 minutes to a half-hour, Zittel said.

The sheriff's new boat, operated by both the sheriff's office and the Port of Olympia, was purchased with a grant from the federal Department of Homeland Security, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

"Integrity" is equipped with a pump that sucks up salt water and sprays it through a fire nozzle, Thurston County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Brady said.

Zittel said he was surprised to see the sheriff's new boat had a hose to help put out the fire. What's left of "Sparky" has been removed from the water and is now dry-docked at Zittel's, Zittel said.

"There's not much left of it," Zittel said. When asked if "Sparky" is a total loss, Zittel responded, "oh yeah."

"It was sinking," he added.

No one was hurt the fire, according to the sheriff's office.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445; jpawloski@theolympian.com

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