The blaze that destroyed 17 boats docked at a Lake Texoma marina and produced a massive smoke plume Wednesday morning was possibly started from a spark, authorities say.
In a statement release Thursday afternoon, the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office said the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing, but “investigators received information that the fire was started from a spark from someone working on a boat that was located on Dock ‘U’.”
The fire erupted shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday and spread across U Dock at Highport Marina, near the Tanglewood Resort complex. Firefighters from multiple area departments responded and battled the flames for the better part of the day. The flames were contained to the single boathouse, and three out of the 20 boats docked were saved, officials said Wednesday. The blaze was reported out at about 4:30 p.m.
No firefighters were reported to have been injured Wednesday, but Trenton Gray, deputy chief for the North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field Fire Department and the incident commander, said a contractor working on a boat was possibly burned on the hand when the fire started.
Personnel with the SFMO, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers responded to the scene Wednesday, and SFMO investigators were also at the scene Thursday.
SFMO Public Information Officer Jerry Hagins said that while the investigation is open, they don’t provide any details about the fire. He said the SFMO is conducting an origin and cause investigation, and they don’t provide any time frames for the length of the investigation.
“I don’t anticipate being provided other information while it’s open,” Hagins said.
While the fire still raged, crews spread a boom around the dock to contain any spilled gasoline and debris from the fire. TCEQ Media Relations Specialist Brian McGovern said the TCEQ personnel were at the scene to advise the marina facility manager about cleanup procedures and proper disposal of debris. He noted they also assessed the impacted area to ensure the booms were installed properly.
“As far as our agency being involved, we were there to advise about how best to set up the booms that contain the gasoline and the debris,” McGovern said.