Mystery surrounds fishing boat that erupted in fire on San Diego Bay

Posted at 12:25 PM, Sep 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-01 21:15:12-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A 120-foot fishing vessel gutted by flames and smoke in San Diego Harbor was left smoldering along the waterfront Sunday morning.

Fire crews battled the fire throughout the day Friday, only to be forced to pull back due to the extreme heat and nature of the fire. Crews have decided to let the fire burn itself out, which could take up to 40 to 50 hours.

RELATED: Multi-alarm fire erupts on fishing vessel docked in San Diego Bay

Smoke blanketed the Seaport Village area with thick smoke and fumes witnesses said smelled like grease and oil burning. Tourists staying nearby told 10News they've been able to smell the fire around the downtown region.

Firefighters have been at the scene throughout the night to keep an eye on the boat. Crews have yet to board the boat to determine what's on board and if anyone was on it when the blaze erupted.

RELATED: Thick smoke from boat fire forces customers out of San Diego Harbor restaurants

The fire broke out Friday at about 9:30 a.m. at 750 North Harbor Drive near G Street, officials said. San Diego Fire Chief Brian Fennessy was nearby at the USS Midway Museum and reported the fire.

Crews from U.S. Coast Guard San Diego, San Diego Harbor Police, and San Diego Fire responded to the fire.

No injuries have been reported, however, one firefighter was taken to a hospital and treated for heat exhaustion Friday. They were released later in the day, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesperson Monica Munoz told City News Service.

The owners of the vessel, Norton Sound, have yet to be reached. The owner of the boat lives in Ensenada, Mexico, according to officials. The individual who is supposed to be at the waterfront to keep an eye on boats docked along the harbor has yet to be reached as well.

A Team 10 investigation found the vessel has been docked in San Diego since March 2017, but the ship itself has been around for decades.

According to its former owner, the vessel was used as a processing vessel for the last few years. It was used by other ships that would fish for salmon.

The newest owner, who purchased the vessel in March, was reportedly going to continue using it as a fishing vessel.