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Couple Homeless after Losing Boat in Yacht Club Fire

The community at Rhode Island Yacht Club is in shock after a severe fire destroyed multiple boats in a late Saturday night.

Photo Courtesy: Corey Welch (Twitter: @CoreyWelch)
Photo Courtesy: Corey Welch (Twitter: @CoreyWelch)
The blaze that destroyed at least five boats and sank three also left a couple that was living on their boat homeless, club members confirmed on Sunday.

More than 40 firefighters responded to the scene and had to wear oxygen packs as they battled the fire that sent plumes of toxic smoke from burning fiberglass and diesel.

One firefighter fell through planks on the dock up to his thighs, said Dep. Fire Chief Paul Valletta, and the fire took a total of three hours to be fully extinguished. Another firefighter was hurt when he was struck in the back by a hose. Along with a civilian who suffered chest pains, but nobody was seriously injured.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation and crews worked through Sunday to manage oil and fuel in the water. Clean Harbors was on site with along with the United States Coast Guard and the state Department of Environmental Management with booms to collect the chemicals, but the scope of the environmental impact is still uncertain as vessels remained underwater Sunday night.

Robert O'Brien, the club's commodore, told the Providence Journal that members are in shock and named the boats damaged or sunk: Barefoot Bob, Main Course, Unstable, Headhunter, Naughty Carl.

“Some of them are having a very, very difficult time,” he said. “They’re in shock. It’s everything they have.”

Damage is estimated to cost millions.
Scrabbletown May 13, 2014 at 11:58 AM
Is there really still a "Cranston Patch" when any and all news stories happening around RI seem to be reported on all the various Patch sites? Patch should stop being in denial and just call it the "Rhode Island Patch" and start moving forward.
Keith E May 13, 2014 at 01:56 PM
My earlier comment was apparently deleted. I asked why the writer neglected to use the word CRANSTON anywhere in the story - as if everyone was supposed to know where the RI Yacht Club is. Would it be difficult to have an opening that says: "Cranston: The blaze that destroyed at least 5 boats...." or simply say "The blaze that destroyed five boats at the RI Yacht Club in Cranston". RI Patch writers need to use more common sense, and basic reporting skills.
Mark Schieldrop May 13, 2014 at 02:35 PM
Someone must of flagged the comment. And yes, I could have put Cranston in the post. There is a link in the story that links to the original article which gives the address of the yacht club. And you don't need to be condescending. I have been a reporter in Rhode Island for more than a decade and I am covering a lot of turf right now. I appreciate feedback and suggestions, especially as we re-do the company and the platform itself. I'm not sure if you're hoping to make me feel bad about myself or just don't know who I am, but either way, I generally find that respect goes out the window once belittling starts.
Pam May 13, 2014 at 05:28 PM
Let's give these patch folks a break. They're doing the best they can under trying circumstances. You could have just googled ri yacht club. And yes some local patches do seen to exist, like Newport -- communities that bought ads to support them perhaps. It's called the news BUSINESS after all
Tom Badger May 13, 2014 at 07:56 PM
actually the article is good with even a link to a more detailed story though I am far from being a fan of ProJo .

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