Second person dies from NKY boat fire

The fire at the Manhattan Harbour Marina in Dayton started early in the morning of Dec. 30.
The fire at the Manhattan Harbour Marina in Dayton started early in the morning of Dec. 30.(WXIX)
Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 11:28 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DAYTON, Ky. (WXIX) - A second person is dead following a boat fire on Dec. 30 in Northern Kentucky, according to the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office.

The second victim, a man, died on New Year’s Day, the coroner wrote in their report.

Neither person killed in the boat fire has been identified, the coroner’s report show.

The fire at the Manhattan Harbour Marina in Dayton started early in the morning of Dec. 30.

On Monday, crews restored power and continued to clean up the water as the surrounding community reeled 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 NOW on Monday that the destroyed boats 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.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.