Officials with Cherokee County EMA and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management were called to the scene of a boat dock fire at a residence on County Road 421 in the Bay Springs Community on Tuesday afternoon.
Firefighters with Leesburg and Centre Departments responded to the scene to find the dock already heavily engulfed in flames. Initially it was reported that there were no boats inside the dock, however as firefighters were in the process of extinguishing the fire they were notified that there was an 18 foot boat and a jet ski that had already sank into the lake. The property owner also informed firefighters that there was a five hundred gallon gasoline tank that was being gravity fed to the boat dock.
It is estimated that approximately 50-100 gallons of fuel was spilled into the lake and that’s when Cherokee County EMA Director Shawn Rogers notified officials with ADEM in addition to a haz-mat cleanup crew from Chattanooga.
It took cleanup crews well over two hours to place what is referred to as containment booms into the lake to help prevent the fuel from spreading.
It appears at this time that the fire may have possibly been caused by a lighting strike.