Fire at Florida Yacht Club Spreads

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. --

Five boats were damaged or destroyed Sunday in an early evening fire at neighboring private boat clubs.

A sport fishing boat docked at Port Canaveral Yacht Club caught fire around 6 p.m., burning or melting through its mooring and breaking free, floating toward other docked boats at the yacht club and, to the east, at Ocean Club at Port Canaveral, said Capt. Brian Dennison of Canaveral Fire-Rescue.

The boat came into contact with the other vessels -- a sailboat, which was also destroyed, and three other power boats -- before being towed to the north side of the shipping channel by personnel from the Coast Guard and Brevard County Sheriff's Office. No injuries were reported.

As the sport boat continued to burn, flames were visible from land through thick plumes of gray smoke.

Eric Van Stryland looked relieved when a firefighter told him his boat, the Barberic, was safe at the Port Canaveral Yacht Club. He quickly told his wife, Barbara.

"We live on the boat, and we just moved here recently after coming back from the Bahamas," Van Stryland told Local 6 News partner Florida Today.

The cause of the fire was undetermined Sunday night.

While "it's not a normal thing for these boats to do this," Dennison said, boat fires can be started by fuel leaks or something as simple as a spark from turning on lights.

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