On Sunday, June 29, one of the greatest fears any boat facility can experience happened here at our South Benson Marina. A boat on dock "G" ignited in flames and quickly escalated both in intensity and in danger to the surrounding area.
A group of people were trapped on a dock by the burning boats; responding fire personnel quickly led them to safety. One resident jumped into the water to escape the flames, suffering only minor cuts. Thankfully, no loss of life occurred and only two boats were destroyed, with another two boats sustaining damage to their fiberglass hulls.
Equipment and personnel responding to the scene included three engine companies, two ladder companies, and both the police and fire rescue boats, with about 20 firefighters, and a number of police officers. Within two hours, the fire was extinguished and the marina was at 95 percent operational capacity.
Assistant Fire Chief Scott Bisson stated that if fire crews had not gotten the fire under control as quickly as they did and the 110 gallons of fuel on one of the burning boats had been released, it would have been disastrous to the marina. All told, there are several hundred boats, collectively worth millions of dollars, closely grouped in the marina that conceivably were in harm's way.
We are grateful for the collective talent, training and dedication of our emergency services personnel; specifically, the Fairfield Fire Department. Responding fire personnel efforts and brave dedication only resulted in a minor interruption of our residents' weekend activities.
We fully recognize the dangers that were avoided, and we proudly pay homage to firefighters' training, dedication and conduct in the events of June 29 at the South Benson Marina.
Edward J. Bateson
Fairfield RTM majority leader
Michael D. Herley
RTM deputy majority leader