6 boats damaged in fire at Crandon Park Marina

Fire spread by small boat that was floating down water, authorities say

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – Six boats were damaged Thursday morning at Crandon Park Marina in Key Biscayne after one of them caught fire, authorities said.

Sky 10 was above the marina at 4000 Crandon Blvd. just before 8 a.m. as firefighters worked to extinguish the flames from the dock.

A fireboat was also nearby.

“In the morning, I hear an explosion and I look, then I took the video and so forth, seeing that the two boats were on fire,” Orlando Barreto, who rents a slip at the marina, said.

Barreto said he was tending to his boat around 7 a.m. Thursday when the fire broke out.

“It was very intense,” he said. “Something like that -- I mean, it’s very hard to turn off because (of the) fiber glass on these boats, and the firefighters -- let me tell you -- they really came in really fast.”

Several boats were berthed near the affected boat.

Firefighters work to extinguish boat fire at Crandon Park Marina. (WPLG)

Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll said three boats were destroyed and three sustained heat or smoke damage.

According to Carroll, some of the damaged boats were berthed next to each other, while others were in different areas of the marina.

“The main hazard when fighting the fire (from the) fireboat is our firefighters falling into the water,” Chief Fire Officer Peter Lugo, of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, said. “They might step onto the boat that’s on fire to get better access, the fiberglass could be brittle (and) they could step right through and get trapped under the boat.”

Carroll said investigators believe the fire spread to other vessels by a small boat that was burning as it floated down the water. It’s unclear from which boat the fire originated.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Sky 10 over the scene of a boat fire at Crandon Park Marina on May 7, 2020. (WPLG)

About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.