Lake Lanier boat fire sends 3 to hospital



GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Gwinnett arson investigators are examining a boat that caught fire and sent two adults and a young girl to a hospital.

Gwinnett County fire crews said the fire happened near Buford Dam Sunday afternoon. Crews arrived at the scene about 2 p.m. after getting a 911 call about an explosion on an older wooden boat.

Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh spoke to people who said they heard the loud explosion. One witness said the blast was so strong, it threw some of the passengers from the boat, including the young girl.

"The explosion actually knocked her out of the boat and into the water," Joe Jordan said. "It sounded like a loud bomb had gone off."

He said he was out on another boat when it happened. Jordan's girlfriend recorded cellphone video of the aftermath. The video shows flames engulfing the boat.

"I've been on (Lake Lanier) 18 years and it's the first time I've ever seen a boat on fire, especially fully engulfed," said John Williams, who also took photos of the fire.

All of the occupants were taken to a hospital where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Gwinnett County Fire spokesman Lt. Colin Rhoden said the victims were alert and responsive. Rhoden believes the child has the most serious injuries. She was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.

Jordan said he is relieved that everyone is OK, considering the sound of the booming blast.

"(The explosion) was one of the loudest things I ever heard in my life. So, just the fact that everyone is safe and sound is great," he said.

Channel 2 Action News

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