A BOAT was destroyed, but a resourceful motorist and quick- moving firefighters ensured two houses escaped being burnt at Prospect yesterday.
Firefighters from Launceston and Prospect stations were called to the burning boat in the driveway of a house in Leslie Grove about 5.40pm.
Launceston senior station officer Robert Featherstone said firefighters were at the scene within eight minutes of the call and had the blaze under control 10 minutes later.
Mr Featherstone said that quick action meant the house with the boat, and possibly the neighbouring house, escaped damage.
He said the fire, which was not suspicious, caused $10,000 damage to the boat.
It is understood the family who lived in the house had gone for a visit to Queensland and had used the boat yesterday, just before going interstate.
Neighbour Diane Pedley said she heard bangs that sounded like gunshots and came out to see flames from the boat leaping as high as the top of the house.
She said the smoke attracted a passing motorist, who hitched a chain to the car in the driveway and used his car to drag it away from the burning boat.
"We were very lucky and so were they," she said of the possibility of her house and the neighbour's house burning.
"It scared the living daylights out of me."