SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. (WSET) — Six people escaped a fire on a boat at Smith Mountain Lake on Saturday.
The fire at Indian Point Marina left a little damage on a fire and rescue boat and some damage on the vinyl siding of the marina.
Chief Todd Ohlerich with the Smith Mountain Lake Marine Fire Rescue left his home around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday after a call for a boat fire.
"I could see the black smoke up in the air and that's when we knew this would happen to be a real boat fire instead of just an overheating issue," Ohlerich said.
The boat went up in flames and was fully engulfed by the time the crews got there. Ohlerich said there was a lot of fuel on board the boat at the time of the fire.
"Between that and the fiberglass, it kept reigniting itself," Ohlerich said.
Thomas Meeks has kept his boat at the marina for about a year and went to go check on his boat on Sunday after hearing the news.
"Look at all the houses around here," Meeks said. "It could have been a lot worse."
Ohlerich said the wind kept pushing the boat toward the docks and homes. Crews worked quickly to tow the boat away from the dock and finally put the fire out.
"Unfortunately, it burned down to the waterline and then sunk," Ohlerich said.
The six people who were on board are alive and have no serious injuries.
"We can replace a boat," Meeks said. "You can't replace people."
The Smith Mountain Lake Marine Fire/Rescue is actively seeking new members. Members can be firefighters, EMT's or simply someone that wants to help the community. If you feel that you have that calling to help others, that is the person we would like to speak with. Please drop us a note on this page or submit an application at Bedford County Department of Fire and Rescue.
Remember, "MANY HANDS, MAKE LIGHT WORK"!