People reported seeing the billowing smoke from miles away, as flames shot out of the hull of a boat at Bowleys Marina in Middle River.
"When I got here the boat was fully engulfed, and it was just an unfortunate, very unfortunate situation," said Luke Galant who also keeps his boat at the marina. "I could see the rescue squad were taking people out on stretchers so I knew there had been people hurt."
Baltimore County firefighters responding to the scene Friday morning called in assistance from nearby Martin State Airport to use foam to extinguish the flames.
"We had a 35-foot vessel at the end of this pier, which is approximately a thousand-foot long. It was fully involved upon our arrival,” said Battalion Chief Joseph Brown of the Baltimore County Fire Department, “We had a total of three fire victims that were burned––two of them went to Bayview Burn Center and one was a refusal."
Word spread throughout the marina that the owners had just fueled up and were preparing to head up river to sell the craft when something sparked the fire.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, there are more than 200,000 registered boats in Maryland, and many dangers out on the water pale in comparison to the threat of fire as they fill their gas tanks.
"The most dangerous element of boating is the process of fueling up,” said Galant, “That's where you're exposed to explosive vapors potentially and it poses a tremendous threat to your physical wellbeing. It's led to fires and death and it's a very scary aspect."
Once firefighters put the fire out, they focused on preventing any fuel spills and keeping what was left of the boat from sinking.
Fortunately, they were successful on both fronts.
As of Friday evening ABC2 had no information on the extent of the victims' injuries.
*Raw fire video courtesy Linda Pelley Zambelli