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Witnesses praise bravery of fire crews who tackled burning York yacht
BY-STANDERS, who witnessed a luxury yacht being engulfed in a fireball, have praised the bravery of firefighters who boarded the burning boat.
The private boat, the Silver C, had been moored near the King’s Arms pub on the River Ouse in the centre of York, when it caught fire at about 7pm yesterday (Saturday, September 28).
Seven fire engines and 35 firefighters were needed to tackle the blaze, which had burned steadily until a small explosion appeared to turn it into an inferno, shooting flames from onboard.
The boat had recently filled up with diesel and fears of a larger explosion, plus toxic black smoke coming from the boat, prompted fire crews to close Ouse Bridge and evacuate some nearby homes and pubs.
York resident Martin Lidl witnessed the event unfolding from his home on the opposite side of the river. He said shortly after fire crews arrived at the scene, one climbed onto the burning boat, where the flames were burning near the vessel’s engine room.
VIDEO: By David Dunning
Mr Lidl said: “One of the firefighters climbed on board. I think it must have been because they had heard the owners had a full tank of diesel. They appeared to be trying to put the fire out near the engine and get the diesel out.
“But shortly after he’d opened the cover for the engine it flared up and he was in the middle of it. He managed to run up the ladder and off the boat.
“He definitely looked shocked. He was lying on the floor afterwards. “The firefighters did an amazing job.”
Fire and rescue group manager for York, Graham Buckle, a firefighter of 27 years, said a number of factors made the fire unusual and he had never attended a boat fire so large, or ferocious in the town centre. Luckily it took place just metres away from York’s Central Fire Station.
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