A house boat, pontoon, and the fuel island were destroyed by fire Wednesday at Edgar Evins State Park Marina.
The fire began as the houseboat was being refueled. Several people on board were quickly evacuated. Some had minor smoke inhalation. The blaze spread to an unoccupied pontoon boat that was tied to the dock. Employees of the park and marina fought to contain the blaze while county firefighters were enroute. The gas pumps were turned off and the remainder of the marina was unaffected.
Assistant County Fire Chief David Agee told WJLE that firefighters received a call of a gas pump explosion at the marina shortly after noon. Upon arrival, they found the two boats on fire along with the fuel island.
According to Assistant Chief Agee, a party of eight who had the houseboat rented from the marina had just returned to the dock when the incident occurred. As the group was still on board, a marina employee began refueling the boat. After stepping away from the pumps for a moment, the marina worker told Agee he heard a pop and then saw a small blaze followed by an explosion. Everyone on board the houseboat was evacuated and except for minor smoke inhalation by some, no one was seriously injured. No one had to be transported to the hospital. All the group's personal belongings on board the boat were lost in the fire.
Members of the Temperance Hall, Cookeville Highway, and Main Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded. Firefighters also deployed their boat to help battle the blaze along with an equipment truck. Members of the TWRA, Corps of Engineers, Edgar Evins State Park and Marina employees, and DeKalb EMS were also on the scene.