Clearwater Fire & Rescue responded to the Intracoastal Waterway Thursday afternoon for reports of a boat on fire.
Clearwater Fire & Rescue tweeted saying the boat was docked when the fire started, but then broke free.
This is the dock where the boat was tied when it caught fire. Then it broke loose and began floating while on flames. Dock is on East Shore. pic.twitter.com/SbNzAtaPUt— @clearwaterfire (@clearwaterfire) March 2, 2017
Crews were able to quickly extinguish the blaze, but smoke was still billowing from the boat.
Smoke continues to pour from the vessel after the fire was extinguished. Plenty of boaters are watching the scene. pic.twitter.com/6yS7O9lz9Z— @clearwaterfire (@clearwaterfire) March 2, 2017
Officials said a second boat located near the boat that caught fire suffered some damage.
"It happened too fast -- I mean, the thing just melted."
Parking lot attendant Oscar Lozano, who lived on the boat for the past two years as a renter, watched helplessly as his home went up in flames.
"It happened too fast -- I mean, the thing just melted," said Lozano.
Lozano works in the lot directly in front of where the house boat was docked. He told us it was a customer that spotted the smoke first.
"I was busy and the one guy I was parking, he looked over and he said, 'there's smoke coming out of that boat,'" said Lozano.
Though Lozano himself was uninjured, he was unable to save his dog, Max.
"By the time I get over I hear the dog barking and I couldn't do anything," said Lozano. "I couldn't even go in there. The fire was coming at me."
Lozano said the boat's owner, William Campbell, did some work on the boat's air conditioner the day before, and that might have been the cause of the fire.
"I know he had to do something electrical to take out the two air conditioners," said Lozano. "He put a piece of plywood where the air conditioners were."
Dunedin Fire Rescue, the Coast Guard, and Pinellas County Sheriff's Office assisted in the incident. The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.