In Bellingham, efforts have begun to recover the bodies of two people who are believed to have died in a massive fire that struck Squalicum Harbor late last week.

Husband and wife Jim Langei, 43, and Sterling Taylor, 33, were living on their boat and have been missing since it was burned in an early-morning fire Friday, March 30.

The fire destroyed an estimated 10 large boats moored in boathouses at Gate 3, G Dock East, near Bellingham Yacht Club.

A crane is being brought in by barge to pull the victims and fire debris out of the water, said Port of Bellingham spokeswoman Carolyn Casey. The barge hadn’t been able to make it into the harbor because of windy conditions.

Once the recovery starts, Casey said, the first priority is recovering the bodies of Langei and Taylor.

“Then they’ll be methodically removing everything and treating everything as evidence,” Casey said.

The removal of everything from the water is expected to take more than five days, and an estimate of the extent and cost of the fire damage won’t be known until that’s done. As items are taken out of the fire zone, they will be brought to a secure location where police and fire officials can investigate them.

The maritime personal injury lawyers at Anderson, Connell & Carey have handled hundreds of marine casualty cases. We provide initial consultations without charge. For legal assistance, call 360-671-6711 in Bellingham, or toll free 1-800-BOATLAW(262-8529).