STATELINE, Nev. (AP) — Fire ripped through the upper deck of a docked tourist cruise boat under repair at Lake Tahoe on Tuesday, injuring one worker on board before crews contained the blaze on the popular paddle wheeler.
A contractor working on the 144-foot Tahoe Queen on the lake’s south shore at Zephyr Cove suffered smoke inhalation and was treated at the scene, fire officials said.
U.S. Coast Guard inspectors from San Francisco were headed to the lake to investigate the cause of the blaze that broke out near Stateline sometime before 8 a.m.
“When we arrived there was a large body of fire in the Tahoe Queen. It spread to the outside of the vessel,” Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District Fire Marshal Eric Guevin told Lake Tahoe News.
Kate Warner, the district’s office manager, told The Associated Press a Coast Guard crew circled the boat with floating booms to capture any debris from the fire. She says there’s been no fuel or other leakage into the mountain lake.
The three-level boat with an open deck on top is operated by a motorized paddle wheel. It holds up to 300 passengers when it’s running, but tours were halted earlier this summer due to the lake’s low water level.
Nearly 300 passengers and crew members had to be rescued in August 2014 when it hit a sand bar and became stuck about 600 yards off Tahoe’s south shore.