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Vol Navy yacht catches fire hours before kickoff, KFD says

Officials say the boat was destroyed in an early morning fire. / (WVLT)
Officials say the boat was destroyed in an early morning fire. / (WVLT)(WVLT)
Published: Aug. 31, 2019 at 7:28 AM EDT
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Officials with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said crews responded to a yacht fire near Neyland stadium Saturday morning.

KFD officials said The Vessel Chances "R" caught fire at 6:30 a.m. Five people and one dog were on board. Officials say they are all safe but the boat was destroyed.

Knoxville police and fire officials are on the scene.

KFD said crews are currently cleaning up and monitoring for any hazardous materials in the river.

Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks said the owners of the yacht ran the generator all night. A woman onboard thought she smelled smoke. When the woman opened the hatch engine where the generator was located, she saw flames.

KFD officials believe the generator was the cause of the fire.

Hazmat crews are on the scene to make sure the diesel fuel does not flow into the river. Officials said 200 gallons of diesel was onboard.

Chief Wilbanks said the yacht will be towed.

Officials expect to be on the scene until 11 a.m. but said Neyland Drive is now open to traffic.

TWRA warns Vol Navy that docking will be reduced by half due to recovery efforts of the yacht.

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