Investigators unable to determine cause of Isles of Capri Marina fire

Devan Patel
Marco Eagle

Investigators from the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District are unable to determine the cause of June 4 Isles of Capri marina fire.

The fire department released the 60-page investigation report Wednesday afternoon for the incident that caused an estimated $991,300 in damage spread between three boats and the dock.

While the source of the ignition was unknown, investigators were also unable to rule out an electrical cause, the report stated.

Crews from the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District and Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department were dispatched in the early afternoon on June 4 after a fire was reported on a large yacht and two other boats moored next to it.

More:Yacht, two boats catch fire at Isles of Capri Marina

Investigators looked at the fire being caused by electronic equipment aboard the large yacht after Jim Erhard provided them with text messages from the boat's captain speculating about the cause.

Erhard, who was the boat's previous owner, also told investigators that "the new owner of the yacht has been recently upset about maintenance and repair costs."

A boat that caught fire June 4 at Capri Marina spews black smoke into the sky.

Shiptronics provided an invoice for work completed but Greater Naples Fire was unable to confirm that the text messages were to and from the captain.

Greater Naples Fire originally did attempt to board the large yacht but stopped when the vessel began to take on water and eventually sink.

However, they were able to board the vessel at the invitation of insurance investigators on July 6 and found that the fire originated on the port side based upon the amount of damage and burn patterns on the exterior of the boat.

Fire crews race to put out a boat fire June 4 at Capri Marina.

Jennifer Kane, a detective with the State Fire Marshal's office, said the state did not conduct its own cause and origin investigation.

Kane said that her office was in contact with Greater Naples when the boat sunk. It was also unable to later because the insurance company was the entity that pulled the boat from the water.

For the limited surveillance footage that was available, investigators found that there was nothing suspicious to report in the video.

Michael Paolini, manager of the marina, also said that there were not any problems with break-ins or vandalism.