Eight boats and a dock burned last weekend on Keystone Lake in Oklahoma.
Standing on a boat dock as the burning wood started to collapse beneath their feet, volunteer firefighters worried about tumbling into the water, where their heavy gear would have dragged them down. Ironically, even with the lake just a few feet below, they also had to worry about running out of water.
As crews began cleaning up debris on Monday from a late-night fire that destroyed eight boats at Pier 51 Marina, firefighters recounted the struggle to keep their tank engines full, even though they were parked on the lake’s shore.
“All that water in the lake, and there’s no way to get close enough to it to pull it out,” said George Blackburn, a firefighter and former chief with the volunteer Keystone Fire Department.
Firefighters got a call Sunday night that a houseboat had caught fire. When they arrived five minutes later, eight boats were engulfed.
No one was injured, but a section of the dock sustained heavy damage and will remain off limits to the public until it can be made safe, Brannen Parrish, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, told Tulsa World.
The Corps of Engineers was still assessing the damage and could not provide an estimated cost or timeline for repairs, Parrish said. Most of the marina, however, was unaffected and remains open, he said. Officials did not expect to find any environmental damage.