SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle fire officials say four boats burned when a fire ripped through a boat house on Salmon Bay.

KOMO-TV reports the fire broke out just before 8 p.m. Sunday in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard.

The fire sent a plume of smoke visible throughout much of the Seattle area.

Eric Pomeroy told KOMO that he heard a "boom" and at first didn't think anything of it because there are a lot of activities at the start of boating season. Then he heard the commotion and realized it was serious.

Fire officials say two 50-foot boats and other smaller boats burned. People who were in the boat house escaped. No one was injured.

Fire officials ruled the fire accidental and determined the cause was spontaneous combustion from improperly discarded staining rags in the boat house. The estimated loss is four million dollars.

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