Tahoe Queen catches fire in Zephyr Cove
STATELINE — The Latest on a tourist cruise boat that was ablaze on Lake Tahoe:
The U.S. Coast Guard has arrived at the scene of a fire at Lake Tahoe that ripped through a docked tourist cruise boat under repair, severely damaging the popular paddle wheeler and injuring two workers on board.
The 144-foot-long Tahoe Queen can hold up to 300 passengers, but only the workers were on board when the fire broke out about 8 a.m. Tuesday at Zephyr Cove on the south end of the lake.
Authorities originally said one contractor suffered smoke inhalation before crews extinguished the flames about an hour later.
Fire marshal Eric Guevin says now a second contractor also sprained his back when he jumped from the boat’s top deck to escape the smoke and flames. He says both men were treated at the scene and refused further care.
Zach Hatie, a trail guide at the nearby Zephyr Cove Stables, told The Associated Press flames were shooting out of every window of the boat’s cabin. A plume of smoke was visible several miles away from the mountain lake that straddles the California-Nevada line atop the Sierra southwest of Reno.
Guevin said Coast Guard inspectors arrived from San Francisco Tuesday afternoon and will begin to investigate the cause of the fire.
Fire crews had the blaze on the Tahoe Queen contained shortly after the fire was reported about 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Fire marshal Eric Guevin said flames were shooting from the inside of the boat when crews arrived and moved to the outside of the vessel before crews knocked them down.
The two-story boat is operated by a motorized paddle.
wheel holds up to 300 people when it’s running, but tours were halted earlier this summer due to the lake’s low water level.
Nearly 300 people had to be rescued in August 2014 when it hit a sand bar and became stuck about 600 yards off the shore.
A witness says she saw huge plumes of smoke coming from a tourist cruise boat that was ablaze on Lake Tahoe.
Karen Foster, whose Zephyr Cove, Nevada, home overlooks the lake, snapped photos of the Tahoe Queen paddle wheeler as smoke poured out and firefighters shot water at it from a dock.
The Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District says one contractor working on the Tahoe Queen paddle wheeler docked at Zephyr Cove suffered smoke inhalation Tuesday morning.
The popular two-story boat operated by a motorized paddle wheel had its season cut short due to Tahoe’s low lake level so it hasn’t been offering rides to tourists for weeks.
Fire crews at Lake Tahoe are responding to a fire on a tourist cruise boat on the south end of the lake.
KTVN-TV in Reno reports one person has been injured in the fire on the Tahoe Queen paddle wheeler at Zephyr Cove, northeast of Stateline. It says authorities canceled a call for a hazardous material response team shortly after the fire was reported at about 8 a.m.
No other details are immediately available.