Investigators believe some sort of electrical short on a vacant houseboat may have sparked a fire that destroyed eight boats at Keystone Lake Sunday night.
The fire marshal said he doesn’t suspect arson caused the Pier 51 marina fire, but investigators said they may never know the exact cause because so much of the evidence is at the bottom of the lake.
It's a tough loss for all the boat owners, but especially one who's been hit with disaster twice in one year.
An inferno on Keystone Lake burned eight boats and lit up the night sky at Pier 51 marina.
Boat victim LeAnn Pry said, “Just over this ridge was just red glow and fire. It was pretty scary.”
From a distance, watched, knowing there was no hope for her Cobalt cabin boat, so her focus shifted to her friends.
“You know these people, you're down here every weekend and so you start worrying about who might be stuck on their boat,” Pry said.
Some boaters had to be saved, but no one was hurt.
Maintenance manager Sean Adair recorded as crews used a boat motor and lake water to push the fire down. Several hours later the boat sank.
Pry's family bought the boat two years ago; the water is where they come to get away.
“I can just be tensed up and stressed…and I can walk out on the dock and it's just...there's no problems anymore because you're on the water,” Pry said. “The lake is just...you can't be stressed on the lake.”
Strangely enough, what usually takes the stress away has kind of been a source of stress for Pry this past year.
Last spring her boat was docked at Westport marina when a storm blew through. It destroyed the dock but, amazingly, Pry's boat only had some minor damage. So she started docking it at Pier 51.
“We bought a boat and a tornado crushed on it and then we move it over here and it burns in the fire,” she said.
But Pry isn't letting a few cases of bad luck burn her love for the lake. She said they'll get another boat and be back on the water in no time.
“Third time we put a boat out here, it's gotta be the charm,” Pry said.
Restoration crews have been out all day vacuuming fuel that spilled from the burning boats from the surface of the water.
Experts say there should not be any environmental impact to the water.
The boats that sank will eventually be pulled from the lake.