VENTURA, California ― Ventura city firefighters responded to a report of a boat fire in the Ventura Harbor on Jan. 31 at 1:46 a.m. A vessel six feet off the ground in dry-dock was fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters were able to contain the fire within 20 minutes of arrival. The boat was a complete loss.
News reports and city officials stated the vessel was likely a 50-foot commercial fishing boat. However The Log received an anonymous tip from someone who witnessed the fire, claiming the vessel was a 46-foot Bertram sportfishing boat.
Three other small fires were discovered in the same boat yard around the same time. These smaller fires included a propane tank of a forklift, debris in a workshop area and a smoldering rag on the stern of another boat in dry dock.
Another fire involving a vehicle in the 1300 block of Spinnaker Drive occurred just prior to these fires.
All the fires are suspicious in nature and are suspected to be connected. No injuries were reported.
“We are reminding the boating public and people in the harbor to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity,” Harbormaster John Higgins stated.
The cause of the fires is under investigation by both Ventura Police and fire arson investigators.
There are some strong leads in the case, according to Higgins. He is working with investigators in locating all the video cameras in the area and helping them to get access to the footage.
“I think the harbor is safe, and I think this was an isolated incident” Higgins told The Log. “The combination of the police, the fire department, security and ourselves [Harbor Patrol], we are being extra vigilant above and beyond. We are hopeful significant progress [in the investigation] will be made in the near future.”