Fire at South Benson Marina Damages Multiple Boats

Boats at South Benson Marina in Fairfield caught on fire Sunday afternoon.

There were two boats on fire when Fairfield firefighters responded at 12:30 p.m. Both boats were attached to the dock at the 206 Turney Road marina. After receiving additional calls about more boats on fire, the fire department found that five other boats were exposed.

A man was working on the boat where the blaze started and  jumped in the water to avoid the flames. He was rescued with the help of a witness and escaped with minor injuries, fire officials said. 

Ten people were trapped on the dock during the fire and firefighters were able to protect them from the fire and evacuate them safely. The dock spans about 400 to 500 feet.

Firefighters knocked out the blaze in 15 to 20 minutes.

The first two boats where the fire originated saw the most damage, two had moderate to severe damage and another experienced minor damage. The cause is still under investigation, but the fire marshal believes the fire is related to gasoline vapors ignited by a spark caused when the occupant plugged an extension cord in on the boat.

Fairefield dispatched four engines and Bridgeport firefighters came for mutual aid assistance. The fire department notified the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the environmental police. Fire and police vessels also responded. Fairfield police were at the scene to control access to the dock.

Boaters were not allowed back on dock until crews cleaned up the burned boats, which were leaking gas. According to fire officials, the marina was able to resume 95 percent of normal operation within two hours of the fire.

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