Several large boats burn at Sailfish Marina in Stuart

Columns of black smoke billowed in sky

STUART, Fla. - Two large fishing boats were destroyed and another two damaged after fire broke out on board one of the boats at the Sailfish Marina Monday afternoon.

Thomas Danti took smart phone video of the fire. The dean of instruction at the nearby Chapman School of Seamanship was alarmed when the 62-foot vessel Lisa K broke free from the dock and drifted toward other boats, still on fire.

"If those boats totally got engulfed, marina is right there. Could have been major disaster."

Firefighters faced a number of obstacles including the winds and access to the fire.

Chief William Schobel with Martin County Fire-Rescue said, "Fiberglass burns very hot. It's difficult to put out. We had 16-hundred gallons of diesel fuel on one vessel alone so we're fighting against time to extinguish it before it catches fire."

Thanks to great teamwork between firefighters and Towboat US, a disaster was averted. Two other vessels did suffer minor damage.

Thomas Danti will take the smart phone video he shot Monday and use it for instruction purposes later this week, when his students go for fire training.

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