Fire damages Skipper Bud’s storage facility

WINTHROP HARBOR, Ill. – A fire that caused approximately $12 million in damages in a boat storage facility at Skipper Bud’s Marina looks to be accidental, the Lake County News-Sun reported in a story yesterday.

The Friday fire started in the back of the storage building, which was packed with boats, according to the newspaper. Deputy Chief Ron Levin told the News-Sun an employee was apparently working on a boat, left, and when he returned there was too much smoke to go back into the building.

The warehouse had a sprinkler system that authorities noted slowed the progress of the fire considerably, the newspaper reported. Several boats were damaged and all have smoke damage and others closer to the fire may have some heat damage.

The State Fire Marshall’s office was called in to help investigate the blaze and on Monday inspectors were checking the building to see if it was structurally sound and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency was on hand to check for leaking chemicals and to supervise some of the clean-up, the News-Sun said.

The Winthrop Harbor Yacht Club praised Skipper Bud’s for reaching out and contacting customers who had boats stored at the facility. Only four boats suffered severe damage, Scott DeSoto, commodore of the club, told the newspaper.

“By 9 a.m. Saturday, many Skipper Bud’s customers had already received personal phone calls and e-mails from Dennis Ellerbrock, Skipper Bud’s executive vice president, or Skipper Bud’s staff,” DeSoto wrote on the club’s Web site.

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