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Fire damages Condor Express

By Sherri Paysinger, NewsChannel 3 Reporter, spaysinger@keyt.com
Published On: Mar 11 2013 03:51:07 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 11 2013 04:07:06 PM CDT

A fire tore through the Condor Express causing moderate damage. The cruise line says the fire apparently broke out and was contained to the wheelhouse of the vessel or the upper level.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

A fire tore through the Condor Express causing moderate damage. The Condor captain says the fire apparently broke out and was contained to the wheelhouse of the vessel or the upper level.

The fire broke out Saturday afternoon at the Sea Landing in the Santa Barbara Harbor.

The boat had returned from a whale-watching trip about an hour before the fire started.

An off-duty firefighter from San Francisco was passing by and saw smoke. He pulled a fire hose from the dock and began the initial attack on the flames.  Harbor Patrol and the Santa Barbara City Fire Department arrived on scene minutes later. The fire was knocked down in about 10 minutes.

Authorities say no one was on board and no one was hurt.

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire.  The cause of the fire is believed to be electrical.

The Condor Express offers whale watching trips in Santa Barbara.

Fred Benko, the longtime captain of the Condor Express, died last week at the age of 73.

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