Around a dozen boats were destroyed after a large fire at the Richmond Yacht Basin in Virginia, USA. No one was injured in the incident. Watch firefighters as they battle the blaze.

An investigation is underway into the cause of a fire at the Richmond Yacht Basin in Virginia, USA, which destroyed around a dozen boats at the marina.

Firefighters were called to the site on the morning of 9 December 2016.

Eyewitnesses said smoke could be seen billowing from the site, while some of the boat broke from their moorings and, on fire, began floating down the James River.

The marina has space for around 60 boats. Some of the owners were on board their vessels at the time.

Richmond Yacht Basin fire

One of the boats on fire

No one was injured during the fire, which was eventually brought under control at around 15.30.

Speaking to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Mitch Romig, who was renting a houseboat at the Richmond Yacht Basin for a night, was one of those who was forced to escape the fire.

“We were sleeping and heard someone running around yelling that the marina was on fire. It was pretty big already when we woke up,” he said.

“Once we got out, I don’t know how many boats on the end were already on fire. It’s our last day of vacation. We weren’t expecting to get up to that,” he stressed.


Richmond Yacht Basin fire

Millie Oakley was not so lucky. She told the newspaper that the 24-foot boat that she was restoring at the marina had been destroyed.

“Oh my God, it’s like a second home,” she cried. “I was getting ready to take it down to Florida. So, dream gone.”

Staff from Henrico, Chesterfield, and Richmond Airport Fire Departments all attended the fire.

The owners of Richmond Yacht Basin described the damage as “catastrophic”.

Richmond Yacht Basin fire

Thick black smoke could be seen for miles. Credit: Go Fund Me/Max Walraven

Around six boats have sunk and some of the docks and sheds are fire damaged.

The president of the marina, Max Walraven, has now set up a fundraising campaign to help a number of yacht owners who lost everything in the blaze.

Writing on the Go Fund Me page, he wrote: “Many boats were lost but to 3 people in particular those boats were their homes. Everything they owned disappeared on December 9th in a blaze that ripped through the Richmond Yacht Basin.”

“I’ve set a low goal compared to what it would actually cost to replace what is gone, but I’d like to get them back on their feet with clothes, food, and means to start a new path in life,” he continued.

Richmond Yacht Basin Fire

Credit: Go Fund Me/Max Walraven

“These men did not have ample insurance to cover the losses. They not only lost their clothes and possessions but also the boats they called home that they loved and took pride in. Thank you for any support,” he added.

So far, $1,400 has been raised towards a goal of $50,000.