Whitefish Lake fireworks barge catches fire

Published On: Jul 05 2013 11:31:49 AM PDT

A barge being used to set off the annual Fourth of July fireworks on Whitefish Lake caught fire just as the grand finale began.

Whitefish Fire Chief Tom Kennelly tells The Daily Inter Lake a spark from a low-bursting firework started the blaze Thursday night. The two pyrotechnicians on board dove into the water. No one was injured.

Kennelly says a fire boat staffed by three Whitefish firefighters extinguished the fire in less than five minutes and eight shells on the barge didn't explode.

Kennelly says this was the first year the city had a fire boat. The boat was purchased a year ago by the Whitefish Rural Fire Service Area and donated to the city.

The decking on the city-owned barge was damaged, but Kennelly says it still floats.