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3 vessels damaged in smoky fire along Seattle's Lake Union

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SEATTLE - A fire aboard three large boats and an adjacent pier sent a huge plume of black smoke skyward Friday over Seattle's Lake Union.

Firefighters rushed to the scene, near East Garfield Street and Fairview Avenue East, at about 10:25 a.m. after receiving reports of a marine fire.

Air 4 video from the scene showed two boats and a yacht ablaze and spewing smoke.

The fire started inside a cruise ship tender – one of two recently purchased by a captain who was repurposing them at the dock. The other was also totaled in the fire.

Seattle Fire says it appears no one was on board the tender when the fire started.

Firefighters scrambled to extinguish the flames with water and foam from the shore and from a fireboat. Seattle Police Harbor Patrol crews assisted. By 11 a.m. the blaze was considered 90 percent contained.

Noel Povlsen owns a century-old floating home on the dock. He says crews miraculously contained the flames before they spread to the house, which only has singed paint and cracked windows.

“Very negligible damage on this, utter destruction over here, and that’s just three feet away,” Povlsen said. “So I am feeling rough for my neighbors here and blessed that somehow these guys got here in time to save the marina.”

Seattle Fire Department spokesman Lance Garland said fire crews responded quickly and professionally.

"Boat fires can be very difficult, so our crews responded very quickly," he said. "They're highly trained for this sort of thing, and they did a fantastic job getting down to the boat, getting on the boat and maneuvering through piers and docks with their hose lines."

People inside at least one adjacent office building evacuated due to the smoke and flames.

The fire started aboard one boat and spread to the other two vessels. The adjacent pier also sustained some fire damage, Garland said.

Two of the boats were being remodeled for use as party boats or foot ferries.

The cause is under investigation.

There were no reports of injuries.

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Seattle Fire says there is no concern of any spill or contamination in Lake Union.

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