A boat burns on Kal Lake Tuesday near the Kalavista boat launch. Several people in the boat suffered minor burns after an explosion in the engine compartment started the blaze.

A boat burns on Kal Lake Tuesday near the Kalavista boat launch. Several people in the boat suffered minor burns after an explosion in the engine compartment started the blaze.

Boat burns on Kal Lake

Explosion in engine compartment starts blaze.



Coldstream firefighters experienced a first when they were called to a blaze on Kalamalka Lake.

Reports came in just after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday of a boat on fire near the Kalavista Drive boat launch and four people in the water.

“Three of them were sent to hospital with minor burns and the owner had minor burns but he stuck around to help with the recovery,” said Dave Sturgeon, fire chief.

The 18 to 20-foot-long boat with an inboard motor was about 50 to 100 metres offshore.

“We tried to hit it with water but the water (pressure) kept pushing it out into the lake,” said Sturgeon.

A jet skier eventually took a firefighter out to the vessel and a pipe pole was used to gain control of it.

“They pulled it into Alexander’s and we extinguished it there,” said Sturgeon.

The fire apparently began when the owner tried to get the boat running. It sputtered and then there was an explosion in the engine compartment.

“The fire consumed the whole boat,” said Sturgeon.

The blaze may linked to a gas leak or fumes in the engine compartment mixing with oxygen.

It’s believed this is the first time the department has ever fought a fire on Kalamalka Lake.

“We’re not really prepared for it,” said Sturgeon.

“All we can do is use the docks and do the best we can. We also have resources like Search and Rescue (which has a boat).”

As a result of the fire, the department is issuing an advisory to all boat owners.

“Check the mechanics of your boat and make sure it is running properly,” said Sturgeon.