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Fire at Seattle Marina Burns 30 Boats on Dry Rack Storage

Firefighters in Seattle douse flames at a marina on Lake Union, near the city’s University District, early on Wednesday, March 22, 2023. The fire burned 30 boats on a dry-rack storage facility, and a man found hiding in one vessel was arrested for investigation of arson, authorities said. (John Odegard via AP)

SEATTLE (AP) — An overnight fire at a Seattle marina burned 30 boats on a dry-rack storage facility, and a man found hiding in one vessel was arrested for investigation of arson, authorities said.

The flames were reported at about 2 a.m., March 22, at the Seattle Boat Company’s marina on Lake Union, which includes out-of-water storage for powerboats. The fire also spread to an adjacent warehouse.

An arson bomb squad detective found a 32-year-old man hidden inside a boat moored in the water, according to the Seattle Police Department. He was the only person found at the scene.

Crews transported him to a hospital for undisclosed treatment and police said he would be booked into jail once medically cleared.

Elizabeth Bohling, the Seattle Boat Company’s assistant general manager, told The Seattle Times the facility has security measures in place. “We’ve got locked gates, we have a lot of camera footage, and we’ve got security systems inside the building as well,” she said.

The company provided security footage to police for the investigation, she said.

The fire should remind all storage property owners to make sure they have updated insurance policies. “Every RV & boat storage facility must develop a Risk Management Assessment and Plan. If not, this high-income asset is at the whelm of every weather-related twist and turn,” explains Terry Anderson, President and CEO of Tenant Property Protection, providers of insurance products and services specific to self-storage, RV and boat storage. 

 “Owner/operator negligence in preparing for the risk of winds, fires and burglary has led to the rising cost of Property & Casualty insurance rates,” Anderson continues. “There have even been situations where the loss of income and lack of reimbursement to replace buildings lost to the elements or outside-related incidents has cost owners their livelihood. A Risk Management Assessment and Plan is a way to save profits and costs when faced with potential losses. Every good general business property and casualty agency in the storage industry should have a resource available to meet this need.”

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