Missouri River boat fire

Blair firefighters tow a boat on fire to shore Saturday in the Missouri River. Crews from Blair, Fort Calhoun and Missouri Valley, Iowa, responded to the boat fire. No one was injured in the blaze.

Fort Calhoun, Blair, and eventually, Missouri Valley, Iowa, fire departments were called to a boat fire on the Missouri River about 11:56 Saturday morning.

Fort Calhoun firefighter Duane Gage, who was in command, said no one was hurt in the fire but the boat was fully engulfed when firefighters reached the area near the rock quarry, around mile marker 640 on the river.

Fort Calhoun and Blair firefighters went into the river with their boats and the fire was extinguished, Gage said.

“Crews snagged it and pulled it to the Iowa side of the river,” Gage said, who was standing on the side of the river downstream looking through binoculars.

Several agencies were on the scene by then and representatives with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources assisted from there, Gage said.

Gage said he didn’t know who owned the boat.

The Blair crew was called for mutual aid, and Missouri Valley, too, in case the boat would go to that side of the river, Gage said.

“The biggest thing I got out of it was to take another look at what’s in your boat,” Gage said. Boat owners need to ensure they have proper safety equipment, including fire extinguishers and flotation devices, he said.

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