MOUNT DESERT — A faulty exhaust component caused a fishing boat to catch fire Thursday morning in Northeast Harbor, according to the town’s fire chief.
Chief Mike Bender of the Mount Desert Fire Department said smoke was reported coming from the cabin of a fiberglass lobster boat shortly after 11 a.m. The boat, owned by Ryan Graves, was tied to a float in the harbor. No one was on board.
Firefighters were on the scene at the Northeast Harbor Marina quickly; they were returning to the station from a false fire alarm call in town, Bender said. Their first action was to send a firefighter with a radio out in a small boat to check out the situation. He reported there was no fire showing but plenty of smoke.
Meanwhile, firefighters suited up with air packs and grabbed thermal imaging cameras and fire extinguishers. Using the harbormaster’s boat, Deputy Harbormaster Josh Jordan ferried the firefighters to the float.
“There were some sparks, but we didn’t see any actual fire,” Bender said.
After about an hour, the decision was made to have another fishing vessel tow the boat to dock at the marina. Graves arrived, and he and firefighters determined that part of the deck would have to be cut to ensure the fire was out. Graves opted to have the person who works on his boat do the work instead of firefighters, Bender said.
Bender did not know the size of the boat. He estimates the vessel sustained between $3,000 and $4,000 damage. The boat is expected to be hauled Friday.