Two Houseboats Burn in Upstate South Carolina


Fire destroyed two houseboats and damaged a third boat at Portman Marina on Lake Hartwell in Anderson late Wednesday morning.

Anderson County firefighters said they got the call at 12:50 p.m. Wednesday. The marina is located at 1629 Marina Road.

Danny Seagraves got a call that his boat was on fire. Once on scene, he said all he could do is stand back and watch.

"Just flames. The closer I got the worse I felt because I knew it was mine," said Seagraves. It's just gone. It's like losing your best friend, I guess."

David McCombs' houseboat also got minor damage during the fire. He said witnesses cut it loose and pushed it into Lake Hartwell away from the blaze.

"The fire was going over top my boat, said McCombs. "I live here, so I thought I lost everything. So, luckily I didn't."

No one was onboard the boats when the fire broke out, but they do serve as residences for some.

Jesse McDonald said he was fishing on the dock when he saw the flames. He said he and others tried to stop the fire.

"We grabbed every fire extinguisher we could see, said McDonald. Went through about eight of them.

McDonald said he and other witnesses then grabbed hoses.

"I was trying to spray water on a window and it busted out and flames came out," said McDonald.

There was concern about safety because of gas and propane onboard the boats, but no injuries were reported.

Firefighters from three stations responded to the fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Portman Marina, about 15 minutes from Anderson, is the largest inland marina in South Carolina.

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