West Pierce firefighters had two thoughts as they saw smoke on TV as they watched the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay on Saturday from their fire station, the agency said.
They needed to offer their help to Tacoma firefighters responding to the blaze.
And they needed to save their boat.
The West Pierce Fire & Rescue boat, Endeavor, is moored at the Narrows Marina, where the smoke was coming from.
The marina at the end of South 19th Street is in Tacoma, on the border of University Place. That made it Tacoma Fire’s blaze, but it’s common for agencies to help each other with such big fires.
So without being dispatched, spokeswoman Jenny Weekes said, West Pierce crews showed up, found their boat was fine, and with Tacoma’s blessing used it to help fight the blaze.
The fire destroyed a small boathouse at Aaron’s Marine Service and at least 30 boats inside, Tacoma Fire said.
It’s hard to know exactly what the damage will end up costing, Tacoma Battalion Chief Dave McRoberts said Sunday, because investigators are still interviewing the boat owners. The latest estimate is $5 million, he said.
Investigators are also reviewing surveillance footage to try to determine what caused the blaze, McRoberts said.
Dark smoke from the fire was clearly visible from Chambers Bay, and on the national broadcast of the tournament.