Questions remain after investigation into boat fire at San Diego Harbor

Posted at 1:33 PM, Oct 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-05 16:33:54-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS/KGTV) - Investigators have no idea what started a fire on a boat in the San Diego Harbor but determined it was not arson, a San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesperson said Thursday.

The fire started Friday on the fishing vessel Norton Sound. Firefighters chose to let the fire burn itself out and the flames were knocked down Sunday.

Investigators were not able to board the boat until Wednesday.

A hazardous materials team and fire investigators spent hours testing air quality and searching for a cause of the fire.

The next step in the clean-up effort will be to move the Norton Sound -- a task for the ship's owner to undertake -- once the burned-out vessel's structural integrity is evaluated.

The owner has not been identified.

Initially, the U.S. Coast Guard believed they'd found the owner over the weekend, but the Tijuana man they contacted said he'd sold the vessel.

Authorities from the Port of San Diego spent the weekend and the early parts of this week seeking the new owner.

Port officials now know that San Diego-based company Charles Dorsch Ships Agents handled dockage and berthing of the ship in the San Diego Bay, Port spokeswoman Brianne Page said. But Charles Dorsch Ships Agents acted only as a representative for a Mexican company, located in the state of Jalisco on the central Pacific coast, that in turn represents the owner of the ship.

Because of the complicated web of ownership, it was still unclear today when the Norton Sound would be structurally evaluated and finally moved.