Fire damages fishing camp

Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010

A commercial fishing camp owned by Charles "Chuck" Smith on Kalifornsky Beach Road suffered an estimated $160,000 in damages from a fire Wednesday.

Photo Courtesy Central Emergency Services
Photo Courtesy Central Emergency Services
A fire on Wednesday destroyed the crew quarters at a commercial fish camp on Kalifornsky Beach Road.

Two Central Emergency Services engines, four tankers, one Kenai Fire Department engine and several command vehicles responded to the scene, according to Deputy Fire Marshall Brad Nelson.

The fire decimated the two buildings located on 30731 Susie Circle, causing an estimated $60,000 worth of property damage. The fire took approximately $100,000 of gear, including welders, boat motors and wet suits, as well.

"Pretty much everything he needed to run his business," Nelson said.

The fire occurred while the fishermen were at work. The daughter of the owner noticed an unusually large amount of smoke leaving a structure attached to a rest building for the fishing crew and called the fire department around 1:30 p.m. No injuries were reported in the fire.

Buoys and fishing gear strewn about the crew building added an additional hazard to the situation. Firefighters were also concerned that a fuel tank near the buildings could explode.

"There is probably (fuel) in there," he said. "We cooled off the tank."

Initial reports indicate that an over-stoked wood stove in a small building initiated the fire. Flames spread from the crew and gear storage area to a workshop on the lot.

"Both are a loss," he said.

Tony Cella can be reached at

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