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Boat bursts into flames on Barton Cove

  • Firefighters responded from Turners Falls, Gill and Greenfield to a boat fire in Barton Cove on Monday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • A boat burns on the Gill side of Barton Cove, as seen from Unity Park.   Recorder/Paul Franz
  • A boat burns in Barton Cove Monday afternoon.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

GILL — A boat burned down on Barton Cove Monday afternoon, not a usual occurrence. No one was seriously hurt.

The boat was beached in shallow water just downstream from the Franklin County Boat Club at 4:30 p.m., the flames and smoke mostly beaten down under water and foam from hoses manned by Gill firefighters on the riverbank. Spectators watched the progress from both banks.

“(The) guy was trying to start his boat over at the boat ramp, the boat club dock, and I guess it exploded and they were able to push away from the dock and this is where it ended up,” said Gill Fire Chief Gene Beaubien.

Turners Falls, Gill and Greenfield rescue boats circled on the water, and Turners Falls firefighters began to pull apart the remaining compartments in the charred interior.

Beaubien said they were waiting for the Department of Environmental Protection to assess the situation and whatever remained of the 50 gallons of gasoline before working out how to remove the charred wreck from the water.

Back at the Franklin County Boat Club docks, within sight of the gutted boat, the owner said it was a 1994 cabin cruiser.

Terry, who declined to give his last name, had a visible burn to one shin, but said no one else was on the boat and the boat was fully insured.

“It stalled out. Went to start it back up, gassed it, it exploded. Flames went right down by my leg. You can see one’s got hair, one doesn’t,” he said. He suspected a fuel line leak because when he opened the galley looking for the fire extinguisher he found flames.

Terry said he pushed the boat away from the dock to protect the other boats, it drifted back and he pushed it out again, tearing off another boat’s canvas that had begun to catch fire.

Terry, of Granby, said this would have been his first day on the water for the season.

You can reach Chris Curtis at: ccurtis@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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