Four people were rescued Sunday afternoon from a small boat that caught fire outside of Danford’s Hotel and Marina in Port Jefferson, authorities said.
A man on a personal watercraft rescued children from the boat just after it caught fire, and two adults on board jumped into the water from the burning vessel. Shouts of “Get away from the boat” could be heard as bystanders converged on the scene to get a closer look, and the authorities blocked off the streets surrounding the harbor.
Still aflame, with thick, black smoke billowing from it, the boat bobbed in the water about a 100 feet offshore, drifting toward other boats in the crowded harbor before firefighters brought the blaze under control. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze in about a half hour using long hoses that they ran along a nearby dock and an embankment, as it was low tide.
Port Jefferson Emergency Medical Service treated the boat’s passengers at the scene and took them to a local hospital for further evaluation, according to a representative from Suffolk County Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Services. The name of the hospital was not released and no additional information was available.
The Suffolk County Police Department responded to a report of a boat fire at 12:34 PM, a police spokeswoman said. Detectives from the Suffolk Police’s Arson Squad have been assigned to investigate the case, however, no one was available to speak to a reporter.
Altogether, four fire departments responded to the scene, including Port Jefferson, Setauket, Mount Sinai, and Terryville. Other agencies that responded to the scene included the Port Jefferson Harbormaster and the United States Coast Guard. The scene was still active almost two hours later at 2:30 PM.