Terrifying moments early this morning on the Tennessee River.
Six people had to jump in the water when their house boat caught.
“A cabin cruiser on the Tennessee River and Chickamauga Lake caught fire about 4 o’clock in the morning.”
Tim Powell who lives on house boat at Lake Shore Marina said he heard a loud noise.
“While I was asleep, I heard an explosion out in the lake…didn’t see anything then I got up and there’s a bunch of people.”
The young men and women were able to call 911 before jumping into the cold waters to swim several yards to shore.
Chattanooga Fire and Dallas Bay Fire Departments responded to the call and put out the flames.
Captain David Eck said about an hour later the fire reignited.
“Tried to put the fire out but it reignited and Tow Boats towed the boat down upstream from Lake Shore Marina.”
Captain Eck said those 6 people were in a very dangerous situation.
“Burnt completely to the waterline. These people that…in my mind are really lucky to be alive today. Boat fires are very dangerous on the water because you have no place to go.”
Captain Eck advises all boaters to be prepared for anything before they head out to the water.
“Have a halogen fire system and stuff. Turn the fire system on. Grab your life jackets right away and get off the boat as fast as you can.”
The TWRA is investigating the cause of the fire.