Boat catches fire behind Moose Lodge

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead firefighters put out a fire onboard a 28-foot-long fishing boat on the Peconic River Tuesday night.

A fishing boat docked on the Peconic River caught fire behind the Riverhead Moose Lodge Tuesday night, fire officials said.

The Riverhead Fire Department received a call for a boat fire about 8:30 p.m. When they arrived on the scene at the marina, which is behind the lodge on Madison Street, the 28-footer — named “Reattached” — was sending heavy smoke into the sky, officials and witnesses said.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Witnesses said they saw smoke rising from the burning boat before firefighters arrived.

James Czachur, treasurer of the Lodge, said he saw the rising smoke from inside the Lodge and raced outside to see what was going on.

“You could see the smoke coming out over that pole,” he said, pointing to a 20-foot-high dock pole surrounded by a haze of smoke.

Firefighters used booster lines to reach the boat, which was docked aways from the road, and sprayed under the boat’s deck to reach the fire, said second assistant fire chief Kevin Brooks.

Though the Riverhead Fire Marshal is still investigating, Mr. Brooks said it appeared the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Firefighters douse the ship under its deck to put out the fire Tuesday night.

“The electrical systems are all burnt up,” he said.

The owner of the boat, who did not give his name, said he was showing in his Calverton home when he got word his boat burning.

He said he’s had the Carolina Classic-model boat for two years and used it to go fishing for swordfish.

The owner also said he didn’t have insurance for the boat.

By 10 p.m., firefighters had fully extinguished the fire. No one was injured.

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