While launching their boat on to water at Horsetooth Reservoir this morning, the three passengers had no idea they would be returning to shore in someone else’s boat and watching their own go up in flames.
After a blaze began in the engine compartment of their 1997 Watercraft boat, the occupants were forced to evacuate. The boat was later determined to be a “total loss” due to fire damage.
One person from the boat suffered light smoke inhalation, but Poudre Fire Authority firefighters reported no injuries. The fire was under control by about 12:25 p.m. after being towed to shore by a park ranger.
Authorities were first made aware of the fire at 11:30 a.m., and a team of firefighters arrived on the scene eight minutes later. According to a press release, those aboard the boat heard a pop come from the engine, and one of the passengers tried to use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.
After another boat came to their side, the three people evacuated. Still on fire, the boat was towed to shore, where firefighters extinguished the fire.
The Poudre Fire Authority said anyone using a boat should know where a fire extinguisher is located on board and should make sure it is up-to-date. If the fire does get out of control, the PFA recommends evacuating the boat immediately and calling 911.
Collegian Executive Editor Erik Petrovich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @EAPetrovich.