The F/V Linda Kay burns at the Homer Harbor early Thursday, Nov. 3.-Photo by Russell Campbell; Wandering Nomad Photography

Fishing boat burns in harbor

Editor’s note: The name of Louie Gjosund was spelled incorrectly and has been corrected.

An early morning fire burned to the deck a 32-foot commercial fishing boat at the Homer Harbor on Nov. 3.

In the first use of a new harbor fire-fighting system, Homer Volunteer Fire Department firefighters and Homer harbor officers were able to keep the fire from spreading to nearby boats and harbor floats.

The fire burned the superstructure of the F/V Linda Kay, a fiberglass gillnet boat built by Basargin Boats. The fire did not injure anyone at the harbor or anyone who responded. No gas or oil spilled.

The boat was hauled out of the harbor later that day and taken to the Homer Boatyard.

Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins said the fire burned the cabin, exhausts, rigging and everything from the deck up. The fire did not burn through the hull.

“All of that’s gone. It probably melted into the boat,” he said.

The Linda Kay is owned by Louie and and Tamara Gjosund of Anchorage. The family has Homer roots. The Gjosunds bought the boat in 2015 and fished it for two seasons.

Harbor officer Mike Lowe noticed the fire from the harbor office on the north side of the harbor when he heard an explosion and then saw flames. He called it in at 1:03 a.m., Hawkins said. Someone else also heard an explosion and saw the fire from the south side of the fire and also called 911.

The Linda Kay was docked on D Float between Ramps 1 and 2. Photos taken by Russell Campbell of Wandering Nomad Photography show the deck and cabin of the boat fully engulfed in flames.

Hawkins said firefighters had the fire under control within a half hour of the call.

“It was out by 1:30 a.m., but we were all breathing easy by then,” he said. “That’s quite a response from a volunteer fire department. I’m impressed.”

The Linda Kay did not have a stall mate right next to it in the 40-foot long stall, but there was a boat across the finger float. The finger float and boat escaped damage. The Linda Kay did not sink, and after the fire was out it was towed to the load/launch ramp and taken out by sunrise.

Lowe, the harbor officer, staged the fire before firefighters showed up. The harbor has fire fighting equipment on self-propelled carts stored in fire sheds space throughout the harbor, including a shed at Ramp 2. That car includes a pump powers by a gas engine that draws water from the harbor. Harbor officers also can provide water from a pump on the harbor tug.

As part of $8.4 million in harbor improvements completed in 2015, the city rebuilt float systems, including a dry fireline between D through S floats. When firefighters respond to a fire, as they did early Thursday, they connect tanker-pumpers to the fireline, connect it to a hydrant and send pressurized water through the line, where they can connect to the line closer to boats. That allows firefighters to attack fires without the delay of hauling fire hoses.

“We’re not just relying on our harbor carts. Now we’ve got the harbor carts, the dry fireline system and the harbor tug,” Hawkins said. “The harbor tug comes in real handy on fires. You can get to the float you can’t reach with the fire system.”

Homer harbor officers patrol the harbor 24 hours daily, Hawkins noted.

“Twenty-four hour watch is absolutely essential when you’re thinking about how many millions of dollars of personal property and public property,” Hawkins said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at

More in News

Surgeon general tours Dena’ina Wellness Center as part of statewide tour

The federal official tasked with providing health advice to the nation last… Continue reading

Kachemak Bay Campus Director Carol Swartz, left, speaks June 8, 2018, at the opening of the 2018 Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference at Land’s End Resort in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Kachemak Bay Campus director set to retire

Carol Swartz, director of Kachemak Bay Campus, will retire from the University… Continue reading

A spawning chum salmon looks to return to the waters of Salmon Creek on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Supreme Court approves Stand for Salmon ballot initiative

The Alaska Supreme Court on Wednesday approved the Stand for Salmon ballot initiative for this fall’s elections, but not before deleting some provisions that violate the Alaska Constitution.

Seabird die-offs may be connected to warming ocean

ANCHORAGE — Federal wildlife officials are documenting a die-off of Alaska seabirds… Continue reading

Dorothy Drive easement petition pulled

Dorothy Drive landowners pulled their petition to vacate the last 2,000 feet… Continue reading

State agency seizes political campaign signs in Anchorage

ANCHORAGE (AP) — The Alaska Department of Transportation seized several political campaign… Continue reading

Cox takes second run for District 31 rep

In a second run at the Republican Party nomination for the Alaska… Continue reading

Henry “Hank” Kroll, candidate for the Republican Party nomination, District 31 Representative. (Photo provided)
Kroll: Lifelong Alaskan brings sourdough perspective to race

If the mold got broken making a classic Republican Alaska politician like… Continue reading

Most Read