Port Alberni Fire Department responded to a vessel fire Sunday afternoon that could be seen from across the city.
“The flames were just billowing out, the smoke was black smoke coming up and it was burning very quickly and very fast,” said witness Kari Chase.
The fire department tells CHEK News it received multiple 911 calls starting at 2:37 p.m. It was reported as an explosion on a boat that resulted in a fire.
A person who was on the boat jumped was forced to jump into the water due to the fire.
“We had one person with unknown injuries picked up by a passing boat. They were directed to Centennial Pier where BC Ambulance picked them up and took them to West Coast General Hospital,” said Deputy Chief Wes Patterson.
Port Alberni Fire used the its fire boat Harbour Chieftain to respond and suppress the fire.
Patterson said the boat was a roughly 35 foot work boat.
The fire took about an hour and a half to extinguish, and the vessel was tied up on Hohm Island to prevent it from sinking.
Officials say any resulting leak from the boat appears to be minor.
“There was some sheen there but at this point the authorities have been informed of it and a lot of it will dissipate,” Patterson said.
The cause remains undetermined at this time.
Officials were unable to provide an update on the man’s condition Monday.