Boaters return to Lake Texoma marina after fire - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Boaters return to Lake Texoma marina after fire

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Highport Marina's U Dock was destroyed by fire on July 19, 2017. (KTEN) Highport Marina's U Dock was destroyed by fire on July 19, 2017. (KTEN)
U Dock is back in business at Highport Marina on Lake Texoma. (KTEN) U Dock is back in business at Highport Marina on Lake Texoma. (KTEN)
U Dock is back in business at Highport Marina on Lake Texoma. (KTEN) U Dock is back in business at Highport Marina on Lake Texoma. (KTEN)
U Dock is back in business at Highport Marina on Lake Texoma. (KTEN) U Dock is back in business at Highport Marina on Lake Texoma. (KTEN)

POTTSBORO, Texas -- On July 19, 2017, a serene marina on Lake Texoma erupted in flames.

The frightening inferno rapidly consumed Highport Marina's U Dock, which burned for hours. As thick, black smoke filled the sky, 17 boats were destroyed as their owners watched helplessly from the shore. No one was injured.

"It was horrifying," said boat owner Pearce Burge of Pottsboro. "To hear the news and then to rush up here and see what was left, which by the time we got here was nothing more than the metal skeleton of the dock, and everything was gone."

An investigation showed that the fire was touched off by an electrical spark as someone was connecting a pump to remove water from a boat's fuel tank.

"[They were] incredibly disturbed by the loss of their boats, the loss of their dock, and particularly their dock life," said Highport Marina executive Christie Bliss.

Fast-forward eight months and things are pretty much back to normal at U Dock, which was completely rebuilt.

The cleanup process was lengthy. It took until October before all remnants of the fire were removed from the water.

Construction on the new dock began in November.

"U Dock was a fairly old dock... I believe it was built in the 80s," Bliss said.

Now boaters are back and ready to hit the water.

"It's going to be an exciting season for sure, seeing everybody in their new boats," Burge said. "What we all enjoy at the lake is being together and having a good time."

For these lake-goers, the question wasn't if they'd return to U Dock,  but when.

"It's a big family, and we enjoy being here every weekend with our lake friends," Burge said. "We're also friends when we're not at the lake, too."

With the dock back open, boaters are eager to start making summer memories.

"We miss everybody, and getting back together here again has been exciting, and seeing the brand new dock that they've built for us... it's really really nice," Burge said.

The updated facility includes a new electrical system and the replacement of a wooden deck with concrete.

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