PORTLAND, Ore. -- A preliminary damage estimate for the Sundance Marina fire on Hayden Island was put at $24 million Tuesday by investigators for the Portland Fire & Rescue Bureau.
Fire crews on Tuesday continued to monitor smoldering hot spots and clean up the remnants of the massive fire that damaged hundreds of yachts and boats at the marina's warehouse. The cause has not been determined.
Fire investigators with the Portland Fire and Rescue Arson Squad said there was no reason to believe the fire was intentionally set.
The 300-foot-long warehouse, filled with approximately 350 vessels, some stacked on top of each other, was the scene of a fully-involved fire from late Sunday into Monday morning.
A PF&R spokesman for said the first 911 call came from the owners of Sundance Yacht Sales and Marina, at 570 NE Tomahawk Island Dr., just before 10:30 p.m.
Many boat owners arrived at the marina facility in shock over the loss of their property. For many, boating is a major part of their lives.
Boat owner Paul Beppler found out about the fire from watching the morning news.
“It's that moment in time where you say ‘This can't be happening. It must be a bad dream,’” he said. “And nope, not a dream. It's the real deal.”
He's stored his 27-foot Maxim there for 15 years. It was kept up front.
When he saw video of flames coming through windows and walls collapsing, he knew it didn't stand a chance.
“It was just shocking to see it, how big the flames were,” said Beppler. “Three-hundred and fifty boats in there, and poof! All gone.”
Bepper, who said his boat was insured, added that owners of the warehouse told him there was “nothing left”.
In all, 26 crews from Portland and Vancouver responded, including two fireboats, which supplied firefighters with water from the Columbia River after the island’s supply ran dry.
For hours, they fought flames exclusively from the outside, as it wasn’t safe to go in.
Firefighters said no one was inside when the fire started and there were no reports of injuries.
There was no word on what sparked the flames in the first place. An official tally of how many vessels were damaged was not immediately available, but the warehouse reportedly housed more than 300 boats.
Sundance Yachts released the following statement on its website:
Last night (Sunday night) there was a fire after hours at Sundance in Portland. There was no one in the building at the time, and no one was hurt. We do not yet know the extent of the damage, as we have not been able to enter the building. We expect to be very busy starting Monday fielding requests for information. At this point we have many of the same questions you likely do. As soon as we learn more we will share the details. Thank you for your understanding as we work through this. If you have questions you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
PF&R 4th alarm fire in Jantzen Beach pic.twitter.com/QPVKosRFiy— Portland Fire&Rescue (@PDXFire) February 29, 2016
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