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Boat catches fire at Smith Mountain Lake, driver injured

Crews on scene of a boat fire.
Crews on scene of a boat fire.
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SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. (WSET) -- A boat operator at Smith Mountain Lake suffered smoke inhalation after a boat caught fire Monday.

Authorities say incidents like that are not out of the ordinary during this time of year.

Three fire and rescue boats had to respond about 25 minutes away from the Bridgewater Plaza, fortunately, there were several other fire volunteer crews nearby when it happened.

The starboard engine of the 32-foot boat caught fire just before noon. Authorities say the boat's operator used several fire extinguishers but that wasn't enough, however a game warden was on scene to put it out.

"This gentleman had four fire extinguishers, and he wanted more," said Conservation Police Officer, Dallas Neel. "So, usually when you have one, you're going to want more than one, so it comes in pretty helpful."

Authorities say it's not shocking to respond to 12 to 16 calls each day over a holiday weekend, like Memorial Day.

So far, four big incidents have happened at the lake since Friday including a a boat collision, and two near drownings along with the boat fire.

On the way to the scene and back to Bridgewater Plaza, the officers stopped two jet-ski's, one for speeding in a no-wake-zone, and did equipment and safety checks on both.

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Fire crews were able to get the blaze out quickly. No word yet on what caused the boat fire.

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