An overnight boat fire Monday, June 30, 2014 in Orange Beach has completely destroyed one boat and heavily damaged a second. The fire broke out about midnight according to witnesses aboard a 31 foot fishing vessel at Bear Point Marina, completely destroying it.
“It was very sickening, I mean it just….stomach sinking you know,” said the boat’s owner, Jesse Reller.
The fire damaged two other boats…one severely. Reller would have normally been staying on the boat, but last night he happened to be at a friends house.
“Another friend of mine came up knocking on the door saying that people were looking for me and seeing if I was alright and said that my boat was on fire,” Reller said.
When Reller arrived at the marina, he was greeted by the sight of his boat in flames. One FOX10 News viewer, Jeremy Hester shot video as Orange Beach Fire Rescue battled the blaze. There was little they could do to save the boat. The fire spread to another large
pleasure boat slipped next to it and it suffered quite a bit of damage. One of Hester’s friends explained what it was like leading up to the fire department arriving.
“Tried by grabbing extinguishers off my boat and ones off the dock and by then it had overwhelmed so much that the possibilities of putting it out weren’t there so I gave up,” said Reller’s friend, John Langley.
Monday, there was nothing to see of Reller’s boat and little to salvage on the one next to it. As the U.S. Coast Guard pumped the remaining fuel from the boat, Reller was left with nothing. His insurance will pay for the damages to the other boats around him and damage to
the dock, but he only had liability insurance. He is now out of a boat and a home.
“Friends are great around here. There’s great people here. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else if something like this happened. I’ll tell you that,” Reller said.
There was some minor damage to a third boat where someone was asleep on board. They were able to get out without injury. Reller said he’s thankful to all of his friends at Bear Point Marina who he said will help him get back on his feet.