NEW TAZEWELL, Tenn. (WATE) — Authorities are investigating a houseboat fire that occurred at a Norris Lake marina Sunday as the vessel was being refueled, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The Tazewell/New Tazewell Fire Department later shared photos from the scene.
TWRA spokesman Matt Cameron said Monday that the incident began just before noon on Sunday, July 17 at the Cedar Grove Marina & Campground. The people who had rented the houseboat had just returned the vessel to the fuel dock and were removing their belongings from it while it was being refueled when the boat caught fire.
Every person aboard the boat was able to disembark safely and no injuries were reported. Cedar Grove employees were able to push the boat away from the refueling station, preventing the dock or other boats from catching fire.
Firefighters with the South Claiborne Volunteer Fire Department and the Sharps Chapel Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the flames.
“During the start of the incident, the boat was unhooked and moved into the cove away from the dock and other boats,” the Tazewell/New Tazewell Fire Department shared in a social media post on Thursday. “Workers from the marina moved the houseboat to the shoulder of the lake to allow the fire departments to engage the fire and extinguish it. Multiple firefighters went to the dock area and extinguished the fire that was there when they arrived and returned back to the staging area. The boat was refueling during the incident so it had a large amount of fuel present on board. The majority of the fuel was left alone and allowed to burn to keep the fuel from leaking once extinguished and kept the fuel from off gasing or sending vapors into the air.”
It was unknown which houseboat from the marina’s fleet was involved. WATE 6 On Your Side has reached out to Cedar Grove Marina for a statement.
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Cedar Grove Marina & Campground is located along Highway 33 in New Tazewell. Its website states it’s a family-owned and operated marina that has been a vacation destination in East Tennessee since 1949. It offers boat slips, campsites, as well as rental services for houseboats, pontoon boats, deck boats, ski boats and Waverunners. The available houseboats for rent can host more than a dozen people.
The cause of the houseboat fire remains under investigation.