Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a fire which heavily damaged a popular excursion boat based at Santa Barbara Harbor.
People noticed smoke coming from the Condor Express as it was docked at Sea Landing, in Santa Barbara Harbor just after 4 p.m. Saturday. The Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol began battling the blaze, and an off duty San Francisco firefighters used a fire house on a dock to fight the fire until City of Santa Barbara firefighters reached the scene.
The fire was brought under control in less than 15 minutes. No one was hurt. The fire comes just days after the longtime Captain of the Condor, and Condor Express, Fred Benko, died as the result of illness. The original Condor, and its replacement, the Condor Express, have been cornerstones of the whale watching industry in Santa Barbara for decades.