An electrical problem was the cause of an Aug. 7 boat fire at Ole Miss Marina, Red Wing Fire Marshal Andy Speltz said..
Red Wing Fire Department responded to a report 6:02 p.m. that evening of smoke coming from a boat on J dock in the Ole Miss Marina. Upon arrival, firefighters quickly determined that the boat was on fire and additional personnel were dispatched, the Speltz said in a news release Aug. 14. Fire attack crews brought the fire under control within 35 minutes.
The boat sustained significant damage. The two adjacent boats received moderate damage from radiant heat. Light smoke damage was noted on several other boats.
Based on fire scene examination, fire pattern analysis, and interviews conducted, investigators determined that the fire originated on the port side of the lower aft master estate room. Speltz ruled out all incendiary and accidental causes with the exception of electrical causes.
Fire Department requested an investigator from Whitemore Fire Consultants Inc. and a forensic electrical engineer from File Forensics, Speltz said. Investigators were able to pinpoint the ignition source, a cable.
The fire was caused by electrical arcing consistent with resistive heating. This arcing was found on the 50 amp cable within the boat, near an air conditioning shore power receptacle. The cable was housed in a concealed space, which allowed the fire to grow before being detected.
This appears to be an isolated incident and no design flaws were noted, investigators said.