Newport Beach fire investigators this morning were trying to determine the cause of a fire that gutted a cabin cruiser and damaged two other boats.
Newport Fire Capt. Ray Pendleton said the fire broke out shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday aboard the 41-foot Rita Marie in the Newport Dunes Marina on East Coast Highway.
"An occupant who lived on a boat nearby heard a loud explosion and then saw flames spread through the cabin cruiser," he said.
Marina employees and boat owners moved other boats moored nearby to prevent them from catching fire. Pendleton said the employees attempted to put out the blaze with fire extinguishers before firefighters arrived.
The fire spread to the Rip-Rap and Fat City, 30-foot boats that were moored on either side of the cruiser.
Newport Beach firefighters received help from an Orange County sheriff's harbor patrol fireboat in putting out the blaze.
Pendelton said investigators estimate the damage at $60,000.