Man burned, boat singed at Kingston Marina when kerosene heater catches fire

KINGSTON -- A man suffered burns and the cabin of his gill netter sustained significant damage when the crew's attempt to refuel a kerosene heater went awry at the Port of Kingston's guest dock late Thursday.

Crews were dispatched just before 11 p.m. on Thursday following a report of a boat ablaze. Because of the large potential posed by marina fire, the incident initially drew a big response with firefighters and apparatus from Navy Region Northwest Fire Department at Subase Bangor and Poulsbo Fire Department as well as from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue. Deputies from the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office were the first to arrive on scene, discharging several of their own fire extinguishers into the cabin of the 32-foot fishing vessel.

The first fire unit at the marina was on scene in less than seven minutes; they found light smoke and no flames visible.  Additional crews worked from the deck of NKF&R's fire-rescue boat, Marine 81, to ensure that the fire was completely extinguished and to secure the vessel while others treated the three men who were aboard at the time of the incident, NKF&R spokeswoman Michele Laboda reported.

As soon as officials had determined that the incident was under control, extra crews were cancelled and sent back to their stations.

The men told firefighters that they'd been attempting to refuel a portable kerosene heater inside the cabin when, apparently, fire broke out as the associated fumes came into contact with the hot appliance, Laboda reported.

Two young men – one from Tulalip and the other from Kalama -- were examined by paramedics and declined medical treatment or transport. The vessel's owner, a 47-year-old Marysville man, was taken by paramedics to Harrison Medical Center with burns to his hands and lower extremities. His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening, Laboda reported.

The boat's 8 by 8 foot fully-enclosed cabin sustained significant heat and extinguishing agent damage inside but the exterior and the vessel's hull were not damaged.

It was unknown Thursday if the boat, based in Marysville, is insured.

NKF&R firefighters found and funded overnight lodging for the young men at a local motel.


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