SAN PEDRO (CBSLA) – Firefighters found a 69-year-old woman dead on a charred boat at the Port of Los Angeles in the early morning hours Monday.
Just after 4 a.m., Los Angeles Fire Department crews were called to a fire aboard a 28-foot cabin cruiser which was docked at Terminal Island.
Firefighters arrived to find 20-foot flames shooting into the air, LAFD Capt. Cody Weireter told reporters. Because of the intense flames, they were unable to immediately board it, but had to battle the fire using hoses. When they finally did get aboard, however, they discovered a woman deceased in the living quarters of the vessel.
People in the area told CBSLA's Dave Lopez that the woman, known as Jen, managed the marina.
One of the woman's friends described her to be, "always very open ad goodhearted."
Another friend speculated what may have sparked the fire.
"I always saw her with a cigarette and she was a heavy smoker," said the victim's friend Cathy. "Maybe she was smoking at night and her boat caught on fire and she didnn't make it out."
Crews knocked down the blaze in about 15 minutes.
The cause of both the fire and the victim's death are under investigation.
"We're working on trying to really kind of piece together circumstances surrounding this fire," said L.A. City Fire's Cody Weireter. "It will be taking some time to get some additional information out."
Those that knew her said she lived on the boat for well over 10 years.
On Oct. 18, good Samaritans came to the rescue of two men after their boat caught fire about 10 miles off the Newport Beach coastline.
On Sept. 2, a dive boat fire off the Santa Barbara coast left 34 people. Five people, all crew members, escaped. The cause of that fire remains under investigation by multiple agencies, including the NTSB and the U.S. Coast Guard.
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