Two people were injured, 16 boats were destroyed and at least four other boats were damaged in a fire Wednesday at a Freeport, N.Y., marina.
The two injured men were extracting a fuel tank from a boat that was in storage at Approved Marine, police told Newsday. Believing the tank to be completely empty of fuel, the workmen attempted to cut the tank out from its position using a power saw. This caused sparks that ignited residual fuel and fumes that burst into flames, police said.
The men, who were not identified by name, were admitted to Nassau University Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening burns, police said, and were in stable condition.
Freeport Fire Chief Mark Stuparich said that about 200 firefighters from eight departments arrived shortly after the 3:44 p.m. alarm and fought the blaze for about two hours before it was extinguished.
“It's over a million dollars' loss is my guesstimate,” Stuparich told the newspaper. "It could have been a lot worse.” Another 40 boats were in the proximity of the fire and were threatened during the battle, he said.