The Grayson County Fire Marshal’s Office said embers from welding and cutting work ultimately started the fire that destroyed three boats and a dock house at Grandpappy Point Marina earlier this month.
Fire Marshal John Weda said maintenance crews were performing upgrades on the 5,700-square foot boathouse on Jan. 8, just before the flames broke out.
“A few minutes after doing the hot work, they left for lunch,” Weda said. “Shorty after they left, the fire developed in the same area of the dock that they were working on.”
Southerly winds gusting upward of 25 mph and low humidity all contributed to the fire’s rapid spread, but Weda said the strong winds also helped by pushing the boats out of the dock house. Marina staff were then able to tow two of the three boats to an empty stretch of shoreline, allowing them to burn well away from other structures or vessels.
No injuries were reported, but the fire prompted a multi-agency response from crews across the Lake Texoma area, including those from Denison, Pottsboro, Locust and North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field.
Weda said security cameras installed on a neighboring dock recorded the fire from start to finish and helped investigators determine the cause and study the fire’s development.
The fire was ruled accidental and no criminal charges are expected to be filed, but Weda urged members of the public to exercise caution anytime they’re work poses a potential fire danger.
“You’ve got to consider the weather conditions outside anytime you’re burning, welding or cutting,” Weda said “Have water on hand or a way to extinguish any fires and make sure you have a spotter with you too. And when you’re done, stick around for 20-30 minutes to make sure that nothing develops.”
Drew Smith is the crime and emergency reporter for the herald Democrat. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.