Boat Fire

Two people suffered minor burns from a motorboat fire Wednesday evening at the Washington riverfront.

The boat, owned by Blake R. Goodman, Sullivan, was launched around 6 p.m. from the riverfront when the inboard motor caught fire, according to Washington Fire Chief Bill Halmich.

Goodman and Jimmy Dierker, a passenger on the boat, both were treated by Washington emergency medical technicians for minor burns at the scene.

Goodman had burns on his upper left arm and Dierker had burns on his right arm.

“We’re not sure if it was a gas vapor that built up or what happened,” Halmich said of the cause, but it ignited as the boat was launched.

Goodman used a fire extinguisher and another extinguisher from Fayron R. Fritz who was passing by on another boat.

The boat continued to burn and a 911 call was made.

Halmich said Goodman threw a rope to Fritz, who towed the boat back to the boat landing.

As that was occurring, Goodman and Dierker tried to put out the fire with buckets of water.

According to Halmich, the seats and upholstery in Goodman’s boat were still burning when firefighters arrived.

Washington crews helped tow the boat back to land and secure it. Firefighters extinguished the blaze.

“Fortunately, the second boat was there to offer immediate assistance because the current was taking it (Goodman’s boat) downstream,” Halmich said.