House boat damaged in blaze

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THIS is the damage left by flames which ripped through the side of a house boat at Hartlepool Marina in the early hours of the morning.

Two crews from Stranton Fire Station spent just over an hour tackling the blaze on the boat, berthed opposite Krimo’s restaurant, when fire broke out at 3.30am yesterday.

A man, who is believed to live on the house boat, is said to have been taken to hospital following the fire.

Fire chiefs have issued a warning against people rushing back into fires to rescue pets after the man suffered cuts and bruises when he climbed through a window after running back onto the houseboat to free his two pet cats.

The incident happened around 3.30am on Monday and the man, in his 40s, also suffered smoke inhalation.

Watch manager Andy Hardy, of Stranton Fire Station, which sent two appliances to the incident, said: “This couple have been relatively lucky.

“Our message is ‘once you get out, please stay out and leave the rest to us’.”

The fire, which began in the entrance area to the boat, is being treated as accidental and the cause is still under investigation.

Today, marina manager, Allan Henderson, said: “Overall, everybody did an excellent job, but the damage to the boat is a great shame.”