PALM HARBOR — A blaze ripped through a 38-foot boat early Wednesday at the Home Port Marina, crippling the boat and badly damaging the boat slip, according to fire rescue officials.
Firefighters responded to 125 Orange St. about 5:13 a.m.
There were no injuries, said Palm Harbor Fire Rescue spokeswoman Elizabeth Monforti.
While fighting the blaze, a firefighter lost his footing when the dock apparently became unstable because of the fire. He fell face first into the water in full firefighting gear. That's about 50 to 60 pounds of equipment, Monforti said.
The firefighter tucked in his legs, as they are trained to do, and flipped onto his back, she said.
"We're not happy that it happened, but the training that we provided really worked," Monforti said. "The other guys pulled him out."
Officials did not release the firefighter's name.
Two other vessels on either side of the boat, a 38-foot Silverton, had minor damage.
Authorities dropped containment booms around the scene to stop any spilled fuel from spreading.
The boat's owners are out of town, Monforti said. Marina officials were taking care of the boat removal, she said.
The cause of the fire had not been determined.