URBANNA – Virginia State Police continues to investigate what caused a fatal fire at a popular boat landing and marina that killed two people and damaged numerous boats and vessels at the Middlesex County facility.
In an update, State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller said the necessity of getting to the sunken and heavily damaged vessels in order to determine a cause of the fire is presenting a challenge to their investigation, requiring the need to bring in a salvage company to help bring those boats to the surface.
“The salvage operation is being coordinated by private industry,” explained Geller in a statement last week. “The Virginia State Police will continue its fire investigation as soon as that process is complete.”
The fire broke out at the Dozier Port Urbanna Marina in the Middlesex County town just over a month ago on February 29. That fire spread quickly, consuming the marina’s boathouse and a storage facility. In total, 21 boats were destroyed by fire, along with two cars parked in the marina’s parking lot.
Fourteen volunteer fire departments from around the region responded to the scene to assist Middlesex County Fire and Rescue with containing the blaze, which was under control by 8:30 a.m. Monday. The U.S. Coast Guard is on scene for environmental containment and clean up. Also assisting at the scene are the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM).
Two people were killed in the blaze, later identified as Francis Blantz, 75, and Julia Blantz, 65.
Virginia State Police’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations Chesapeake Field Office is actively leading the investigation.