2 boats sink, 4 others damaged in Elm Hill Marina fire - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

2 boats sink, 4 others damaged in Elm Hill Marina fire


As crews continue to clean up from a fire which destroyed a handful of boats early Sunday at the Elm Hill Marina, questions remain about what caused the blaze on Percy Priest Lake.

Firefighters were called about 6 a.m. to the C dock at the marina, where six boats caught fire - including two that sank and four others damaged beyond repair.

One boat spilled oil and fuel into the water, so crews set out absorbent pads to try and keep those chemicals from spreading in the lake.

Boat owner Tom Gibson was one dock over when he spotted the flames and sounded the alarm.

"It's a horrible sight to look out your blinds there and see one of your neighbors' boat going up. And then, of course, when the boats burn, they're fiberglass right there and got anywhere from 50 to 100 gallons of gas on them," Gibson said.

Despite the material losses, Gibson said he is happy his neighbors are still around to enjoy the water. "Everybody is safe," he said. "They can take care of all this right there as long as nobody got hurt."

The manager at Elm Hill Marina said the hope is crews will finish cleaning up the area and pull up the sunken boats by the end of the day Monday.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is overseeing the clean up effort. TDEC officials said the gas and oil from the damaged boats should not have any long term effect on the lake.

A spokesperson for the Nashville Fire Department said investigators believe the fire started on one of the sunken boats, but the cause is still unknown.

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