Man, dog take ‘polar plunge’ to escape Seattle marina fire

SEATTLE  --  Investigators don’t yet know what caused a fire that spread to three boats at a Seattle marina Sunday night. But tonight, we are hearing from the man who escaped with a few burns and blisters.

He says that in order to escape those flames,  he had no choice but to toss his dog in the frigid water and take the polar plunge himself.

“I`m hearing an odd noise outside like a pop, pop or somebody knocking on the boat,” says Randy Chase.

Chase says, when he looked out the window of his boat at Lakewood Moorage near Seward Park Sunday night, he couldn't believe his eyes.

“Incinerator flames, it just, they had a cover on their boat and it just went up in a matter of seconds,” says Chase.

The boat next door, engulfed in flames just three feet away. He knew he and his dog, Mocha, had to escape quickly.

“I opened my window and went on deck and turned around and immediately got burned, it was so hot,” says Chase.

He says, with both of his hands burned and blistering, he pushed through.

“I grabbed the dog and opened the other door and threw her in the water and followed her.  That was my only way off the boat, was to do the polar plunge.  It was freezing.  They put me in a tent when I got to Harborview Medical Center to bring my body core back up,” says Chase.

Seattle Fire shared a photo of a Seattle Police officer keeping Mocha safe and warm while Randy received treatment for his burns.

“She's got way more friends than I do. She's just that charming of a dog,” says Randy.

Seattle Fire says three boats were destroyed in the fire, including one that Kurstyn Schober says belongs to her.

“The boats are gone. These three story boats are now knee high,” says Schober.

Kurstyn tells Q13 News the fire started on her boat and quickly spread from there.

“This, for us, is a huge loss, but what's more important is we need to take care of Randy because it was a loss for him, of his home and really everything he had and has collected over the years,” says Schober.

Randy says he's just grateful he and Mocha made it out safe.

“We’ll start over, well start fresh. The main thing is, the dog is good and I am good and we are here for another day,” says Randy.

Seattle Fire investigators have ruled the cause of the fire as "undetermined."  The total estimated loss is $200,000.

Randy says he can't thank Seattle Fire and Seattle Police enough for helping him and Mocha. Kurstyn tells Q13 she is the owner of the “Admiral Pub” in West Seattle.  She says she plans to hold a community fundraiser on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. to help get Randy back on his feet.

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