Residents desperately try to quench inferno with buckets of water but several boats left completely gutted
Dramatic footage has captured the moment a boat “exploded” into flames before drifting across a marina and setting several other vessels alight.
In die video, captured on Sunday afternoon, an explosion can be heard as huge flames and thick black smoke billow out above the boat.
It can then be seen drifting across to the other side of Hampstead Marina at Yalding, near Maidstone, in Kent, as concerned bystanders watch on from a jetty.
Two people were treated by paramedics and taken to hospital after one suffered burns and the other smoke inhalation, the fire brigade said.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service said the cause of the blaze remained unknown on Wednesday but was believed to be accidental.
Several residents, including an off-duty firefighter, rushed out with buckets of water in a desperate bid to put out the flames – but some vessels were left completely gutted.
One witness feared for her home as the boat drifted towards her house.
Sy het gese: “We heard an explosion, went into our bedroom and saw the boat on fire in the lock just floating.
“I called 999 immediately and at this point the boat had started to drift away from the lock downstream.
“I told the fire brigade it was about to set fire to another boat, but it missed and ended up coming towards our house, which was horrifically scary.
“My partner and I ran outside and hosed down our house and the surrounding area, to try to stop a bushfire from happening.”
She explained how residents came together to save the community, toevoeging: “The team spirit was phenomenal.
“Everyone concentrated on stopping any more bush fires – we were throwing buckets of water and soaking the land down the pathway by the river.
“One man who owned one of the boats that was moored up managed to save it by moving it out of the way. But all the other boats who had no owner at the time caught fire – it was like a domino effect.
“There were several explosions, up into the 20s – the first boat exploded several times, it was quite terrifying.
“A couple of boats have now sunk, and there are half-torched boats just left there, it’s really, really sad.”
Three fire engines and a bulk water carrier were called to the scene to help extinguish the blaze.
It took about two-and-half-hours to extinguish the flames and some of the stricken boats were so badly damaged they sank.
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