The fire that destroyed five pleasure boats in the Newport Dunes Marina boat storage area was caused by an electrical problem on the Searay, fire officials ruled Thursday.
Newport Beach Fire Battalion Chief Nick Waite said they still are awaiting results of an investigation into Wednesday's electrical blaze on the 27-foot Searay, which was at the end of the row of boats.
The fire spread quickly to four other boats parked side by side in the open-air storage area, which houses about 200 boats and recreational vehicles.
Firefighters were called to the parking-lot-style storage area shortly after 6 p.m. when an unidentified witness found three boats engulfed in flames, Deputy Chief Tom Arnold said. When the first firetruck arrived within five minutes, two other boats were on fire. The fire was extinguished within 15 minutes, he said.
The damage is estimated at $200,000, Arnold said.