Cruising Couple Presumed Dead in Marina Boat Fire

A crane was in place on Wednesday to recover a boat that burned last Friday in a marina fire that is believed to have killed a Bellingham couple. Crews believe they will find the remains of Jim Langei, 43, and his wife, Sterling Taylor, 33. The two were on a boat where the couple lived when the fire broke out before 5:30 a.m., according to officials. Their boat sank and the two are still missing.

Friends and customers of Taylor said they had looked forward to Sterling Taylor’s return from Arizona and getting their morning coffee at her shop, America’s Cup. Instead, they have paid their respects at the growing memorial. Jim Langei’s son left a note saying, “Dad I’ll make you proud,” amid flowers, notes and balloons.

“She was always so very nice and helpful and gracious when we’d buy coffee here. We’d buy coffee after we walk, and she always seemed so pleasant and nice,” said customer Rosalee MacDonald.

The Bellingham couple called 911 as a fire consumed their boathouse on Squalicum Harbor. The first 911 call was made by Taylor.

“She had called 911, and they were trapped in the boat, and they weren’t able to get out from their boat,” said friend Mike Corning.

Corning also lives aboard a boat at the marina and said he worried about Langei and Taylor when he heard about the fire because he knew where they kept their boat. He said his fears were confirmed when he heard that Taylor had reported the fire. The ten boats that burned were carrying several hundred gallons of gasoline and diesel that spilled into the water. Crews are using absorbent pads to try to clean up the fuel.

Courtesy of www.kirotv.com.

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