Lake Tahoe Paddle Wheeler Badly Burned in Blaze

Photo: Tahoe Douglas Fire Dept.
Photo: Tahoe Douglas Fire Dept.

Lake Tahoe’s beloved Tahoe Queen sustained major damage earlier this week when a fire tore through the iconic paddle wheeler popular for tourists visiting the area.

The fire broke out onboard the vessel while it was docked in Zephyr Cove Tuesday morning.

Some reports say that painters and welders were doing work on the vessel when fire started, but authorities are trying to determine the exact cause of the blaze. The incident is under the investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Photo: Tahoe Douglas Fire Dept.
Photo: Tahoe Douglas Fire Dept.

“Most of the fire damage is limited to the boat’s pilot house and second deck,” said Lt. Jake Aulner, Chief of Sector San Francisco’s domestic vessel inspection branch. “This can be attributed to the tremendous response by Tahoe Douglas Fire Department to quickly extinguish the fire before it spread to the fuel tanks below.”

Two workers were reportedly injured in the blaze, neither seriously.

The owners of the vessel are trying to determine if the vessel is salvageable.

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Photo: Tahoe Douglas Fire Dept.

The Coast Guard says the Tahoe Queen had approximately 800 gallons of diesel fuel and 100 gallons of hydraulic oil onboard, none of which was lost during the blaze.

The Tahoe Queen is touted as Lake Tahoe’s only authentic Mississippi paddle wheeler. The vessel has three decks and is certified for up to 312 passengers, with a maximum dining capacity of 150. The vessel is currently undergoing major renovations.

Photo: U.S. Coast Guard
Photo: U.S. Coast Guard