KINGSTON — An early morning explosion and ensuing fire completely consumed a boat moored about 200 yards south of the Kingston Marina aon Wednesday at approximately 2:30 a.m., and one occupant suffered burns.
A spokesperson with North Kitsap Fire & Rescue said the fire was thought to be an accident resulting from accumulated gasoline fumes in the vessel’s bilge. The 32-year-old man aboard the vessel at the time of the explosion told crews that he and his uncle had been fishing and had just anchored in the cove for the night when he smelled gasoline. The explosion occurred when he opened a hatch in an effort to find the source of the odor.
Initially, crews were unsure how many occupants were aboard the boat at the time of the explosion and found no one on board or in the surrounding waters. Shortly after their arrival, emergency responders learned that the sole occupant had been rescued from the burning boat by his uncle, whose own boat had been rafted beside it.
Battalion Chief Steve Murray said that while the uncle was able to rescue the occupant, the individual had been burned in the process.
“The patient did suffer some burns,” Murray said. “[The uncle] was able to run the patient back into Kingston where he was able to meet with our medic unit. We transported to Harrison Hospital.”
According to Murray, responders called for an airlift but weather conditions were prohibitive.
The 30-foot fishing vessel from Tulalip was a total loss, Murray said. While the boat did sink, Murray noted that an examination of the area did not turn up any evidence of environmental contaminants spilled in the area. The vessel’s operator also told crews that there had been less than 30 gallons of gasoline aboard the boat prior to the fire. Firefighters noted that much of the fuel was likely consumed in the blaze. Finding no sheen on the water, they turned the incident over to Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management, the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard.