Explosion burns boat in harbor

Posted Feb. 01, 2010, at 9:55 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:47 a.m.

GOULDSBORO, Maine — An explosion on a boat that caused the vessel to burn to the waterline may have been caused by a space heater, investigators said Monday.

The 42-foot fishing vessel Deduction was on its mooring in Prospect Harbor when the explosion was reported around 1 a.m., according to Paul Conner, search and rescue controller for the Coast Guard.

Conner said the Coast Guard is looking into the incident because the Deduction is a commercial fishing vessel. He said Coast Guard inspectors were expected to examine the damage Monday afternoon.

“I think it burned to the waterline,” Conner said. “It is possibly due to a space heater.”

Gary Grovogel, Gouldsboro’s fire chief, said Monday that the boat owner, Jason Follette, had placed the heater on the boat the night before to keep pipes on the boat from freezing. He said the boat did not sink. What remained after the fire went out has since been towed ashore, he said.

“He was trying to thaw things out,” Grovogel said. “Fiberglass boats — they burn quick.”

Grovogel said he did not have a dollar figure for how much damage the fire caused.

Police and the Maine Marine Patrol said Monday that foul play was not suspected.