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4 boats go up in smoke after lightning causes fire in Fort Pierce

No injuries reported
Fort Pierce boat fire caused by lightning, July 6, 2021
Posted at 11:29 AM, Jul 06, 2021

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Officials said lightning caused four boats to catch fire overnight in Fort Pierce.

The St. Lucie County Fire District said a caller reported flames at the end of a dock in the 600 block of Seaway Drive at about 1:45 a.m.

Another caller reported hearing an explosion, according to officials.

When crews arrived at the scene they found four pontoon boats on fire.

The fire marshal told the owner of the boats that a lightning bolt hit one of the vessels and the fire then spread to the others.

"It's a sad thing, but we can only move forward. All you can do is pick it up and keep going," said Mark Waltner of Treasure Coast Boat Rentals. "We've been slammed. ... coming off a busy weekend. It's an unfortunate thing that happened."

Firefighters extinguished the flames just after 2:15 a.m.

No one was hurt.

The business owner said this will set them back a few weeks, but they are staying open for rentals because one of the boats was preserved.