UPDATE: Boblo Boat Destroyed By Fire In Detroit Marina

Just before 12pm Friday flames broke out after what is being reported as a welding accident on one of the former Boblo ferry boats.

Flames engulfed the Sainte Claire at Riverside Marina northeast of downtown Detroit and directly opposite the foot of Lauzon Rd.


Smoke from the burning Boblo boat Ste. Claire could be seen at the foot of Lauzon Road, July 6, 2018 (by AM800's Peter Langille)

Don Tersigni's backyard backs onto the Detroit River near Peche Island.

"I see smoke, and once I see smoke I know there's fire.  It's not the first time I looked over and I see the Boblo boat's on fire.  I jump on my dinghy and head over there," he says.

Tersigni says the fire grew quickly from the rear of the boat and attracted a lot of attention.

"At one time the flames were pretty big, It was pretty crazy ...  The Coast Guard boat got there and started diverting some of the traffic.  A few of the fishermen were racing over there to go see it," added Tersigni. "The coast guard helicopter came over and soon the fire truck showed up and started dousing the fire.  It took a while for them to get it under control"

The boat is one of two that traveled for decades between Detroit and Boblo Island, the SS Ste. Claire and SS Columbia made their last runs in 1991.