ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A man suffered minor burns Saturday when his 40-foot boat burst into flames at a marina on Nix Boat Yard Road, the St. Johns County Fire Rescue said.
The fire started onboard Chris and Wendy Fisher's boat at 8:15 a.m. at the Cat’s Paw Marina,officials said.
A family member told News4Jax that the couple lives of the boat with their cats.
Chris Fisher was originally taken to Flagler Hospital with minor burn injuries as well as smoke inhalation, but was transferred to a burn unit in Gainesville.
“The person was transported in stable condition, but due to the fact he had burn injuries, that is the best place in this area for that,” St. Johns County Fire Rescue Capt. Jeremy Robshaw said.
St. Augustine firefighters used several techniques to put out the flames including the use of the St. Johns County Fire Rescue's newest marine firefighting vessel, Marine 12.
“Having the response resource of a fire fighting vessel was a key component based on the positioning of where this vessel was docked it was a very difficult operation to get water down to it from the land side,” Robshaw said.
Marine 12 was purchased with a federal port security grant that was awarded to the department in July 2015.
The hose can shoot up to 500 gallons of water a minute, reaching between 75 to 100 feet in the air.
The boat also sports the latest GPS, radar and sonar systems, as well the FLIR system, which allows firefighters to pick up heat signatures, and night vision to help them find people in the water.
“This vessel allows us to do it so much better, so much safer, not only for the people we're responding to, but for our personnel,” Robshaw said. “A lot of times in this job, we ask our personnel to go into situations that are hazardous and where conditions are bad.”
In addition to the Fisher's boat catching fire, two other boats and part of the dock were also damaged.
The fire department said the boat is a loss, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Members of Fisher's family said the couple does not have insurance and have set up online fundraising efforts. Click here to donate to the Fisher family fund.