A 36-foot Egg Harbor motorboat was severely damaged in a fire in St. Mary's County on Wednesday afternoon, the state fire marshal's office reported. No one was injured.
A neighbor called 911 after seeing smoke coming from the 1978 fiberglass vessel, which was in the water and tied to the owner's pier in Breton Bay, according to the report. Once they arrived, Leonardtown volunteer firefighters took just five minutes to extinguish the blaze. But the fire, which started in the boat's sleeping quarters, already had done $100,000 in damage, the fire marshal's statement said.
The cause of the blaze still was under investigation.
Lyman and George Ann Hewins, of Leonardtown, have owned the boat for 10 years and returned from an errand Wednesday to find firefighters at their home on Lake and Breton View drives.
"It was my husband's pride and joy and love," George Ann Hewins said Thursday. The family recently had taken a whale-watching trip to Cape Cod on the boat. "It's a mess right now. The front is gutted, and the back is smoke-damaged."
She said a television and a clip-on fan were the only electrical devices in the area where the fire started, and she added that both met safety requirements. The family plans to repair the boat, which was insured.