U.S. Coast Guard inspectors are headed to Lake Tahoe to investigate the cause of a fire that damaged a tourist cruise boat and injured a contractor on the largely unoccupied paddle wheeler on the south end of the lake.
Fire crews had the blaze on the Tahoe Queen contained shortly after the fire was reported about 8 a.m. Tuesday. A contractor working on the docked boat was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, but no other injuries were reported.
Fire marshal Eric Guevin told Lake Tahoe News 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 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.