NEW VIDEO: Emergency Crews Responded To Boat Fire On Lake Mendota

UPDATED Friday, August 24, 2012 --- 4:45 p.m.
By: Barclay Pollak

Tony Peterson was out fishing this morning. At about 9:30 he says he saw a 23-foot ski boat launch. A few minutes later that same boat burst into flames.

" Pretty soon I noticed a lot of smoke coming from the boat and then I heard someone yell help and I saw folks jumping in the water. "

He quickly headed in the boats direction and picked up the four college aged victims.

" They were scared, upset and they were just trying to figure out what had happened. They were confused about what may have happened on the boat. They didn't know. "

This afternoon the Madison Fire Department said the boat was fully engulfed when they arrived. Firefighters quickly realized they were fighting a losing battle.

" The water was basically pushing the gas around and causing it to light up other places on the boat, " said David Trieloff. " So when it went down the rear of the boat went down first and kind of went in the water.. "

We were able to briefly speak with the victims as they docked. But they did not want to go on camera. According to the Madison Fire Department, luckily, there were no injuries.

UPDATED Friday, August 24, 2012 --- 1:00 p.m.

From the Madison Fire Department:

The Madison Fire Department’s Lake Rescue Team responded to a boat fire on Lake Mendota this morning. Firefighters and rescue divers were sent to the fire at 9:45 AM.

The boat, located about 300 yards off shore from Captain Bill’s restaurant, was fully engulfed in flames when fire crews arrived in the area. The lake rescue team launched two boats to fight the fire and assist any occupants of the boat who may be in danger.

The 23-foot long ski boat was destroyed by the flames and began to sink during extinguishment. Boats from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office and the UW Lifesaving Station also responded to the fire and assisted on scene.

Shortly after launching the boat, the four people onboard report that it lost power and they noticed smoke coming from the engine compartment. They were unable to extinguish the fire with their extinguisher and abandoned the boat. A nearby boater helped them out of the water. Nobody was injured.

A barge will be brought in to remove the partially submerged boat from the water. Buoys were placed in the water to mark the area and warn other boaters. Damage to the boat and its equipment is estimated at $90,000.


UPDATED Friday, August 24, 2012 --- 11:45 a.m.
By: Barclay Pollak

Emergency crews responded this morning to a boat fire on Lake Mendota.

The Madison Fire Department confirms that four people were on the boat at the time of the fire. More information on the rescue should be available later today.

According to a local fisherman, he was responsible for getting the four victims, who he said appeared to be "college aged," out of the water.

We briefly spoke to him. He did not report any injuries. Once the scene was clear we did attempt to speak to the victims. They told us they did not wish speak on camera.


Posted Friday, August 24, 2012 --- 10:10 a.m.

Emergency crews responded this morning to a boat fire on Lake Mendota.

This is a picture from the NBC15 Beltline Tower Camera.

The boat is off shore from Marshall Park, which is located University Ave./Allen Blvd.

We're told surrounding boaters were able to get the occupants off the burning boat safely.