FREEPORT — Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a fire that began early Tuesday morning and kept firefighters on scene well into the afternoon.
The 50-foot recreational fishing vessel was sitting on a dry dock at a repair facility in the 300 block of East Second Street when the fire started about 7 a.m., officials said.
By 11 a.m., most of the flames were gone, but firefighters worked on board the boat to make sure all of the hot spots were extinguished.
The boat is named Custom Build, and the owner is from the Dallas area. The vessel was a total loss.
Fire officials finally had all of the hot spots contained about 1:30 p.m., Assistant Fire Chief Chris Motley said.
There was no one on board when the fire began. No one stays on board at night, Motley said. When firefighters arrived, it was “fully involved,” he said.
“The boat was here for repair, like all of the other ones here,” Motley said. “It appears the fire started in the boat’s engine room, located in the middle of the vessel.”
Fire officials do not believe anything suspicious was involved with how the fire started, though an investigation will be conducted to determine the cause, Motley said.
Because of heavy fog and humidity Tuesday morning, it was difficult for firefighters to fight the flames, he said.
“It’s difficult because it adds additional moisture and makes it more difficult for firefighters to keep their bodies cool,” Motley said. “It was just more difficult on the men and women who were fighting the flames.”
One firefighter was treated at the scene for dehydration, he said.
Fire crews from Freeport, Jones Creek, Oyster Creek and Clute worked for almost four hours to extinguish the flames and a ladder truck from Angleton was called in to help.
Coast guard officials worked to inspect other boats and vessels near the fire, all of which were supported on the ground, to make sure there was no run off of diesel fuel into the water, Motley said.
Motley expects to begin investigating the cause of the fire this week and hopes to know more by early next week, he said.
Shannon Daughtry covers Freeport for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0152.