GILFORD — A 2001 Cigarette Outer Limit power boat sustained damage yesterday after a fire of unknown origin erupted while the vessel was in Glendale Bay.
Fire department Capt. John Beland said the fire on the 42-ft. boat is still under investigation. He said the fire department believes it started in the engine compartment and spread to the cockpit area.
The cabin area received extensive smoke and heat as well as water damage from the firefighting effort, Beland said.
According to Alan MacRae, a Gilford resident who was at the scene, the boat is owned by Buddy Thomas, a seasonal resident of Gilford. He said Thomas was on board with three of his children and four friends when the fire was discovered shortly after 4 p.m.
MacRae said Thomas had installed new mufflers on his boat and had just completed, and passed, a decibel test administered by David Gunter, a supervisor with the New Hampshire Marine Patrol, when several passengers reported a fire in the cabin.
Gunter pulled his boat alongside and transferred everyone from the boat to his own craft, MacRae said.
The Gilford Fire Department's fireboat responded, and Alton and Laconia's fireboats stood by, Beland said. Alton and Laconia boats were called in, Beland said, "because of the size of the boat and the fact that when fiberglass burns, it's broken down to its raw material, which is petroleum-based, it burns like crazy."
"What we did was knock the fire down in the cockpit, then tow it to shore where we then completely extinguished the fire," Beland said.
Ten to 12 Gilford firefighters were involved in the effort. "I am sure we will be investigating it," Beland said.
I heard he sold his Tiger last year, kept the engines (850's?) and put in the O/L this spring.