East Bay News

2 rescued after 5 boats catch fire near Bethel Island

Friday, December 03, 2010

Five boats were damaged by an early morning fire that reportedly spread from a single boat moored outside of Oakley near Bethel Island, East Contra Costa Fire Chief Hugh Henderson said.

Initial calls to the fire district around 2 a.m. reported that a single boat was on fire, Henderson said, but arriving fire personnel found three boats engulfed in flames. Two other boats were threatened when firefighters first arrived on the scene along Dutch Slough Road, and Henderson said by the time the blaze was contained at 4 a.m., a total of five boats had been damaged by the flames. No one was seriously injured by the fire, although at least one person was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, which responded to the scene in an advisory role. According to the Coast Guard, personnel from the Rio Vista station assisted in the rescue of two people who leapt from their boat into the water as smoke drifted downwind from the smoldering boats. The Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office rescued one of the boaters, and the Coast Guard said that it assisted in plucking the other boater from the water. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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