Crews work to reduce environmental impact of Thursday's boat fire

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DENISON, Texas (KXII) -- Crews are working to clean up the area where a yacht caught fire Thursday, right in the middle of Lake Texoma.

The owner and passenger jumped off the boat safely and weren't seriously hurt, but their 47-foot boat is destroyed.

The fire is out, but crews are now working to reduce the environmental impact.

"Personally I've never seen one that big on the water myself," David Beeson said.

David Beeson was working on the lake when the the boat caught fire Thursday.

"Burnt all the way down to about three feet off the water and it was a three story boat," Beeson said.

This is the second time in two weeks fire has caused a pollution concern on the lake.

The large boat dock fire at Highport Marina sent burnt fiberglass and fuel into the water. Crews put out booms to contain it, but the clean up is still ongoing.

Thursday's boat fire poses some of the same concerns.

"They were just filled up with diesel," Beeson said.

"Fiberglass it burns very hard, it's a petroleum base, it's very hard to put out," Tim Bilderback said.

Tim Bilderback with TowBoatU.S was called out to help with the fire Thursday.

"Had to get it up to shallow water where we could contain it, boom it and get it under control safely," Bilderback said.

He's now monitoring the area to put out any rekindles and to make sure the fuel doesn't spread into the lake.

The boat is still in the water, about a mile away from the closest marina.
In order to complete the hazardous cleanup, they first need to find a place to tow the boat to shore.

"From here it'll be air-bagged and secured, and towed to a haul out facility, which there's only three or four on this lake, so whichever one we can coordinate with and isn't busy," Bilderback said. "If they need help, we'll help, that's why we're here."

The boat will now be turned over to the insurance investigator to figure out what caused the fire.