Firefighters extinguish boat fire in Hillsboro Beach

2 boats destroyed, authorities say

By Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer, Liane Morejon - Reporter

HILLSBORO BEACH, Fla. - Two boats were destroyed Saturday afternoon in Hillsboro Beach when one of them caught fire.

It was about 2 p.m. when the fire started on a 24-foot boat and then spread to a 42-foot boat. Flames tore through the boats along the 900 block of Hillsboro Mile.

Michael and Ann Welsh were on the road when they saw the flames coming from a docked boat.

The wind was blowing a large cloud of dark smoke east as firefighters approached the boats.

Jim Lambert was stunned to learn his boat was destroyed.

"I was across the street in my house on the third floor with my son installing a new TV, and he looks out the window and says, 'Dad, our boat is on fire,'" Lambert said. "When we came down, a friend of mine was here trying to push this little vessel that caught on fire out to the intercostal away from the dock, but it was just too late."

Several people were on board when the fire started and they had to escape. They were seen on dry land speaking with investigators.

"The people jumped on another boat, and that one drifted under my boat instead of someone else's," Lambert said.

The boat drifted toward Lambert's 42-foot Invincible and the fire spread.

Firefighters extinguished the flames from the dock. The boats were deemed total losses, but Lambert is grateful that no one was injured.

"Nobody got hurt. Just two boats totaled," Lambert said. "Could be worse."

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