Lt Col Thada Sodarak of the Phuket City Police was notified of the fire at at 11:05pm.
Police together with fighters of Rassada and Phuket City Municipality Fire Department and Kusoldharm rescue workers arrived at the scene, the Jian Wanit Pier in Rassada, to find the construction materials barge “Or Phalanukorn 1” ablaze.
Firefighters took nearly an hour to extinguish the blaze, but kept soaking the materials already loaded on board to prevent the fire from flaring up again.
The captain of the boat, Wirut Chinkarn, 39, was on board when the fire broke out. He was taken to Phuket Provincial Hospital for treatment of burns to his face and feet.
No other people were reported as injured from the fire.
Pier manager Thiamta Palanukorn explained that the steel-hulled boat was used for delivering construction materials to Phi Phi Island.
At the time the fire broke out the boat was already ready loaded with planks of wood, bags of cement and other construction materials, she said.
“The damage caused by the fire may cost more than B1 million,” Ms Thiamta said.
Phuket City Police Chief Col Theerawat Liamsuwan, who was at the scene last night, made no mention of whether police were investigating the possibility of arson.
However, he added, “At this stage we believe that the fire started in the boat’s control room [the bridge/wheelhouse], but we still have to examine the scene to find the cause of the fire and question the boat captain.”