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Arson suspected in Illinois marina fire

Fire officials said a blaze that destroyed 15 boats Thursday at Spring Brook Marina in Seneca, Ill., is suspicious.

“These boats were covered up since October. There's no reason for them to start burning,” Seneca Fire Chief Jerry Sears told the Chicago Tribune. “It's suspicious.”

No injuries were reported in the fire, which also damaged half a dozen other boats.

Damage could exceed $1 million, Sears told the newspaper.

The fire jumped from boat to boat in the closely packed marina on the south bank of the Illinois River in Seneca, which is about 60 miles southwest of Chicago.

It took 30 firefighters from Seneca and four neighboring departments more than six hours to douse the flames. The fire was first reported at 1:15 a.m. as involving three boats, but it quickly spread.

The marina's website describes Spring Brook as a family-owned business that dates from 1961. The website says the marina also has more than 75 new and used boats in inventory and on display.

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