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Barge catches fire during fireworks show on Whitefish Lake

By Kevin Lessard, KCFW Reporter, klessard@kcfw.com
Published On: Jul 05 2013 10:05:16 AM MDT
Updated On: Jul 05 2013 06:04:26 PM MDT
BARGE FIRE
WHITEFISH, Mont. -

A fireworks show at Whitefish Lake took a scary turn when the barge shooting off the fireworks caught on fire.

Everything seemed to be going according to plan, but towards the end of the show officials say a spark lit the barge on fire.

It started out small, and it was almost unnoticeable along with the fireworks, but spectators began questioning what was going on as the fire grew.

After the grand finale, fire crews were able to knock down the flames quickly.

We spoke with Whitefish Fire Chief Tom Kennelly who told us crews were on standby out on the lake, prepared for a situation like this one.

"We had out fire boat stationed just off of the barge and we were able to respond within two minutes,” Kennelly said.  “The fire boat puts approximately 2,000 gallons of water a minute on the fire.  We made sure that the crew was safe that were on the fireworks team.  They had a safety boat and they were on that.  There were no injuries."

The fire department purchased this boat used from a crew in Indiana just a year ago.  Chief Kennelly said they're glad they had it for a situation like this.