A Bellingham commercial fishing boat caught fire near Sitka, Alaska, on Monday, July 25, resulting in major damage to the cabin but no injuries.
According to an article by the Sitka community radio station KCAW-FM, the F/V American Express owned by Bret Hanson sustained heavy damage to the aluminum cabin. The nearby boats and the dock at ANB Harbor did not sustain damage.
According to the report, the Fire Department responded to a call at 1:04 a.m. Fire Chief Dave Miller told KCAW-FM the gillnetter boat sustained about $100,000 in damages and believes the fire started because of a leaking diesel stove.
“It was an aluminum boat, so the heat was trapped in (the cabin),” Miller told KCAW-FM. “So all of their electronics, anything that was trapped in there was gone. Even the ceiling, the aluminum ceiling had melted from the intensive heat that was in there.”
Hanson could not immediately be reached for comment. Jim Kyle, president of the Working Waterfront Coalition of Whatcom County, said Hanson is a longtime local fisherman. According to a state business license, Hanson is also president of the two I Wana Moka coffee stands in Bellingham.