Florence Harbor focuses on safety after Jackson County tragedy

The Florence Harbor and Marina is regularly inspected.

Posted: Jan 29, 2020 4:53 PM
Updated: Jan 29, 2020 5:28 PM

Marina owners and people who live on boats told WAAY31 the Jackson County boat dock fire, that killed 8 people and injured seven more, is a wake up call for everyone.

In the wake of the boat dock tragedy in Jackson County, the owners of the Florence Harbor and Marina are now thinking about adding smoke detectors to the roofs of their docks and doing some fire training with the Florence fire department.

"That's the first real fire we've seen. We've had our boat now for nine years," said Allen Darelius, who lives on his house boat.

Darelius and his wife are touring the United States on their house boat. They're passing through Florence and heard about Jackson County tragedy.

"That's the first one that's a major catastrophe," said Darelius.

The fire in Jackson County has been the topic of discussion this week at the Florence Harbor and Marina.

"We've talked about nothing else this week. It's a tragedy we really hope never visits us," said Florence Harbor master, Kyle Friauf.

Friauf said the Florence marina and docks are inspected twice a year.

"We get visited by the city fire Marshall and also our insurance fire people as well to make sure we are up to code," said Friauf.

Friauf said the docks in Florence have fire extinguishers that are inspected and up to code. He also said the dock in Florence uses all metal pipes and roofing that are more fire resistant than wood.

"Here because we have the gable roofing with the openings it allows the heat to come up and blow out of the roof, buying someone precious minutes if your trying to get your boat out of a slip," said Friauf.

The harbor houses safety boats too in case of a fire or emergency. Friauf said they don't do fire drills right now, but that could change.

"It's obviously something were talking about with the city fire department now that perhaps would be a good idea to do that," said Friauf.

Friauf said they inspect all boats at the harbor themselves to make sure they have a safety plan and fire extinguishers. They also monitor the meters everyday to make sure boat owners are using the correct amount of power. They also don't allow people to live on their boats full time at the marina. Although the do have people stay for months at a time.

Friauf and other boat owners said their thoughts and prayers go out to the families in Jackson County.

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