A MARINA fire which threatened to engulf more than 50 power boats is a mystery, say fire chiefs.

Investigators from Cumbria Fire and Rescue service are still working to find the cause of the blaze which ripped through a Bowness boat store owned by Windermere Aquatics.

Watch manager Brian Steadman led 44 officers from across the county to tackle the fire.

He said: “The investigation is still ongoing. There’s no conclusive evidence either way as to what the outcome will be.

“Everything is still open at this stage.”

Video by Gary Johnson

Four boats worth thousands of pounds were destroyed and one other seriously damaged in the fire, which started at around 7.15pm on Wednesday, November 16.

Using an aerial ladder platform, crews from Windermere, Kendal, Barrow, Staveley and Ambleside poured water down on to the roof and finally brought the blaze under control at 1am the next day.

They also helped the Environment Agency to install a barrier into Windermere to prevent any boat liquids from polluting the lake.

Windermere Aquatics general manager Gary Johnson said: “I thought I could hear fireworks going off but when I came out I saw it was actually a fire.

“It was a huge shock to see it going like that with flames coming from the roof several feet high.”

Company director Jill Henderson, who also watched the fire, said she had feared the worse but fire crews had done an ‘incredible job’ saving the majority of the boats in the store.

Windermere Aquatics general manager Andrew Corney said the business remained open but they were losing money every day because they could not access the store.

He said: “We should be putting clients’ boats into storage for the winter to make them safe but we can’t get into the building to start this process while the investigation is still going ahead.

“It’s not great but we’re trying to carry on with tasks as best we can.”

This is the second disaster to hit the Glebe Road boat importation and storage business in two years as the marina was hit badly by the floods in November 2009.