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Fire At Washington Yacht Club Devastates Four Boats

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D.C. firefighters were called to the scene of a fire that affected four boats at Washington Yacht Club early in the morning July 18.
Pete Thompson
D.C. firefighters were called to the scene of a fire that affected four boats at Washington Yacht Club early in the morning July 18.

Firefighters were called to the scene of the Washington Yacht Club on M Street SE at around 2:45 a.m. It took about 50 firefighters to extinguish the blaze, which had spread to four boats moored to the docks at the club.

D.C. Fire and EMS evacuated people sleeping on some nearby boats, and the fire was under control within 40 minutes, Three of the four boats -- 35 to 40-foot cruisers -- struck by fire sank to the bottom of the river.

No injuries were reported, but the fire caused an estimated $1 million in damage.

One of the owners of a boat that burned, who prefers not to be named, was grimly surveying the damage this morning.

"It's devastating," he says. "Think of it as a '57 Chevy or Mustang. It was a classic, I put a lot of money into it."

Firefighters now believe the fire started on one boat and jumped to the others. It's currently being investigated as an accident, but D.C. Fire and EMS officials say they have not ruled out foul play.

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