‘I’d only just finished fixing boat’ gutted in blaze at Burton Waters

A man who spent six months and £4,000 getting a boat shipshape says he is devastated after it went in flames in a freak accident at Burton Waters Marina.

Twenty firefighters attended the incident at about 12.30pm on March 25, two fuel pumps,a jetty, a canopy and two trees were also on fire, and thick black smoke filled the air.

The fire accidentally started on a visiting craft after it had fuelled up and the flames spread to another boat that was also moored up.

Watch this video of the recovery of one of the boats:

It is believed a carburettor backfired and ignited fuel vapour. No-one was hurt but the skipper of the visiting vessel had to quickly flee his boat as the fire broke out.

READ MORE: Watch as large fire rips through boats at Lincoln’s Burton Waters

Retired publican Bob Nicholson, 72, from Elsham, whose wife Sue is the owner of the other boat, the 23ft Stella Maris worth £9,000, said it was a devastating loss.

He said: “I’d only just finishing doing it up for sale and it’s such as shame because it’s a complete write-off and someone has been deprived of the chance of earning a nice boat.

“My wife is heartbroken and I’m totally devastated. I did it up for something to keep my mind occupied.

“But it’s just one of those things. It’s no-one’s fault, it’s just happened.”

Mr Nicholson described the other boat as a Freedom 22, probably worth around £3,000.

Picture by Christoph Gothorp

Adam Cox, managing director of Burton Waters Boat Sales, says he hopes to have the petrol and diesel pumps at the jetty back in action within two weeks.

He said: “What happened was that a visiting boat came and was fuelled up and then the man came to pay.

“It was nearly 20 minutes later that he started the boat up and at that point he saw there was a fire on board so he quickly gets off.

“Our fire safety team tried to deal with the fire at first but it was just too fierce but the firefitghters were here really quickly. Thankfully, no-one was hurt.”

Firefighters used special pumps to prevent the boats from sinking as they tackled the blaze.

Christoph Gothorp, who was at work at Harbour Lights opposite and witnessed the event unfolding, said: “There was one boat parked next to the filling station – the one with a blue hull – and another white one further along.

“The blue boat had caught fire and the fire started burning the roof of the filling station, which then started burning all of nearby trees too.

“The fire then spread to the white boat a bit further along and that went up in flames, the entire top half of this boat was completely wiped out and later in the afternoon it was nearly completely submerged under the water.

“The original boat where the fire started was also completely burnt out and drifted out into the water at one point while still on fire. The fire brigade managed to pull it back to side though.”

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