Wrightsville Beach police officer spots, extinguishes Motts Channel boat fire

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An eagle-eyed member of the Wrightsville Beach Police Department caught the first glimpses of a boat fire in Wrightsville Beach on Tuesday night, extinguishing it before it spread to the dock or nearby structures, the town’s fire department reported.

The shore power cord was the cause of the 10:25 p.m. fire to the 36-foot sport fishing boat docked near Motts Channel Seafood, which resulted in approximately $15,000 in damage, primarily to the rear left side of the boat where the fire broke out, the fire department report states.

“Straight behind the boat is the house,” Wrightsville Beach Fire Department Capt. Sterling Powell said in describing the area around the dock. “If the officer hadn’t been riding by and seen the flames, it could have been a lot worse.”

Cpl. Gunner Matthews used the fire extinguisher in the police vehicle to extinguish the flames. The fire department arrived within five minutes, where they performed an overhaul to make sure it was extinguished.

Boat fires are relatively rare, Powell said, but since there were other boats and structures on the tightly packed dock, the department sent two vehicles, including one fire engine, and 11 firefighters to the scene.

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