OCEANSIDE, Calif. — A plume of smoke filled the Oceanside Harbor Monday afternoon when two boats became fully engulfed by flames.
“It was horrific,” Karen Hamara, a harbor condo resident, said. “It’s like chaos down there.”
With strong winds in the area, she and other residents above the harbor were fearful the fire would spread down the line of docked boats.
“We kind of looked at each other and said, ‘Do we need to move on?’ Because we didn’t know how far the boats were going to go,” Hamara said.
Firefighters were quick to arrive and put out the blaze while lifeguards jumped in the water. They swam to push a third boat in the lineup out of harm’s way, ultimately stopping the spread.
“We had police and fire and they were able to assist us getting off the dock. And we just do what we do, and took it to the other side and got it out of harm’s way,” Oceanside Lifeguard Sgt. Greg Trebbe said.
It was Ken Roetzel’s boat that was saved by first responders.
“Yeah, they saved her, otherwise she’d be looking like that one right there,” Roetzel said. “Very fortunate to have the people here in the harbor take such good care of us.”
His boat has some superficial charring but nothing like the boats fully engulfed by flames. They are considered a total loss.
“I feel really, really bad,” Roetzel said. “They become the love of your life, they really do, and they become part of your family like a pet … You put your heart and soul into them, make them nice and all of a sudden it’s all gone; it’s like losing a home.”
No one was hurt and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Check back for updates on this developing story.