Crews work to clear gas from water after deadly boat fire

Crews work to clear gas from water after deadly boat fire
Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 6:31 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 2, 2023 at 6:36 PM EST
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DAYTON, Ky. (WXIX) - Northern Kentucky residents will return to their boats Tuesday after a fire broke out Friday morning that killed one and critically injured another.

While crews restored power and continue to clean up the water, things looked different at the Manhattan Harbour Marina as the surrounding community reels from the tragic event.

“Pretty terrible incident - very terrible,” marina boat-owner John Meshefski said. “... [A]nd then how much damage there is to that dock, we have yet to see.”

Meshefski has owned his boat on the marina for more than two decades and says he saw the person who died in the flames fairly often.

“I saw him several times but did not know him personally,” Meshefski said. “It was a brother-sister deal or something like that.”

He added that the houseboat that officials say the fatal fire started on was an Airbnb.

“We know there were a lot of different faces on the boat all the time,” Meshefksi explained. “Some weekends, it’d be a bridal thing, and next weekend it’d be a couple. You never knew what was going to be on that boat.”

Bellevue-Dayton fire officials and other crews continue to get the area back to normal by using absorbent booms and pads to remove 600 gallons of gas that seeped into the water as a result of the fire.

“It’s something you don’t want to see happen again,” resident Fred Crawford said. “Hopefully, people will learn from what has happened to be more careful and watch and improve a lot of things on the boats that need to have attention to them.”

Officials told FOX19 on Monday that the boats that were destroyed will not be removed from the harbor until they consider it safe to do so.

“I think it’s a shock to everybody,” marina boat-owner Andrew Bach said. “It’s a shame that had to happen. My thoughts and prayers go out to that family.”

The harbor will remain closed to river traffic until clean up efforts are wrapped up, but there is still no timeline as to how long that will take.

The cause of the fire still remains under investigation.

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