Boat Catches Fire, Explodes in Norwalk Harbor

Norwalk Fire Department

A boat with six people on board caught fire and exploded in Norwalk Thursday evening.

The incident happened just before 6 p.m. in Norwalk Harbor.

Crews said the boat was experiencing engine trouble. The owner of the boat told crews the boat was running rough so he was turning around to come back in when the boat exploded.

The boat exploded 100 feet away from the Shore and Country Club, crews said.

Deputy Chief Edward Prescott said there was a total of six adults, or three couples, on board. The owner of the boat and his wife were transported to the hospital. The wife sustained some burn injuries and the other passengers refused medical treatment.

All six people on the boat were able to jump into the water and were rescued by an individual on a separate boat.

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The operator of the boat stated while leaving the harbor he was having issues with the engine and decided it best to turn the boat back.

Norwalk crews responded with their two fireboats to pull the fully-involved boat from the water and ground it on the beach. This was done in an attempt to limit the environmental impact and keep the channel open. Once the burning boat was brought to shore, the other fireboat finished extinguishing the fire, according to Prescott.

Prescott said a containment boom was deployed around the boat to contain a minor gas leak. The boat will be salvaged and removed from the water on Friday.

Two off duty firefighters, Jim Lyons from Norwalk and Nick Marsan from Westport, dove in the water to help the boaters onto the dock of the country club. A nearby resident, Tony Aitoro, jumped in his boat and raced to the scene with life rings and life preservers, Prescott said.

The boat was a 30-foot motor yacht, Prescott said.

Stamford and Westport crews also responded to the scene.

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