MCKEESPORT (KDKA) — Five boats were damaged by a fire early Monday morning in downtown McKeesport.
It happened at the McKees Point Marina located between Water Street and the Youghiogheny River.
“Multiple boats were on fire. They went to work immediately and were having some issues. Fiberglass melts when it collapses in on itself, it’s hiding some pockets of fire,” McKeesport Fire Chief Jeffrey Tomovcsik said.
The two-alarm fire was sparked by an apparent explosion that occurred around 2:20 a.m. A KDKA-TV viewer shared video of it on Facebook.
A police bomb squad was also at the scene due to the explosions. The fire chief said additional firefighters were needed to help put out the flames.
“There was a large volume of fire and again, given the nature of the construction of the boats, quite difficult to put out. A large volume of fire,” Chief Tomovcsik said.
Initial reports from the scene indicated that the boats were in dry dock when they caught fire.
Kathy Tagaloe says some of the boats damaged in the dry dock at the McKees Point Marina are hardly recognizable. She went to the marina soon after learning about the fire.
“Boats literally melted to the ground. Like, you can’t even tell some of them were boats,” Tagaloe said.
Tagaloe’s boat doesn’t appear to have significant damage, but she’s concerned for her friends – whose boats were damaged.
“We’re like family down here, because we’re all together all summer, it is our family all summer long,” she said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries and the exact cause of the fire is under investigation.
The Intersection Community Center next to the marina, also suffered damage. The stained glass windows were broken and pieces of glass littered the floor.
The owner says the damage could affect their weekly lunch program.