Fire destroys 40-foot boat at Norwich marina

Norwich firefighters battle a stubborn fire in a power boat docked at the Marina at American Wharf on Norwich Harbor Wednesday night. (Photo: The Day/ Sean D. Elliot)

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — Crews will be back on the scene of a boat fire that destroyed one boat and damaged two others at a marina in Norwich Harbor Wednesday night.

Shortly before 7:00 p.m., firefighters responded to the American Wharf in Norwich Harbor on a report of a boat on fire in the harbor. When fire crews arrived at the scene, they found A 40-foot vessel known as the Black Pearl fully engulfed in flames.

All firefighters had to have their masks on while fighting this blaze due to the toxic smoke from the burning fiberglass and plastic, according to The Day of New London (

Fire crews had to work quickly to stop the flames from spreading to two neighboring boats. Firefighters were able to move the other two boats away from the flames and hose them down with water before they sustained any major damage, officials said.

After more than two hours of trying to contain and extinguish the flames from various sections of the boat, the Black Pearl rotated onto its side, capsized, and sank. No injuries were reported.

The State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) was on the scene to assess environmental damage in the harbor. They told News 8 that they are trying to estimate how much fuel actually leaked in to the water.

DEEP officials said they will be working with the Coast Guard to figure out the logistics of pulling the remains of the boat up and out of the water.

The Norwich Fire Marshal’s office as well as the State Fire Marshal’s office are continuing their investigation into the cause of the fire.

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