Powerboat Fire Claims Two Lives

Steve Propes

Powerboat Fire Fatalities Identified

On Saturday, August 5, a 35-foot powerboat was at the Alamitos Bay refueling dock at the 200 block of Marina Drive when it caught fire.

Two weeks after their deaths, the women who perished in the blaze have been identified as Sharon Gentry, 75, and Margaret Gentry, 60, hometowns unknown.

According to the county coroner, Sharon Gentry died of thermal burns and smoke inhalation; Margaret Gentry died of head trauma and thermal burns.

In addition, two men and a woman were hospitalized with burn-related injuries as a result of the blaze.

 

August 11 Story

At 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, a 35-foot powerboat was at the Alamitos Bay refueling dock at the 200 block of Marina Drive when it caught fire. Two women in their 60s died in the blaze and two men and a woman were hospitalized with burn-related injuries as a result of the blaze.

The smoke was so thick and heavy from the blaze that it settled several miles to the northwest, blanketing the area around Magnolia Avenue and Wardlow Road “like a heavy fog,” said a person who was in the area at the time.

The cause of the blaze is unknown, as well as whether the boat was being refueled or had just been refueled. Fumes from fueling a boat can be dangerous if not dissipated before the engine is started.

More than a dozen fire engines, boats and other apparatus were sent to the blaze to douse the flames. The boat began to sink after the flames were quelled. A private salvage company will be employed to remove the boat from the water for further investigation.

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