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Fire stock rig

SOUTH SIOUX CITY | A boat caught fire just outside the Sioux City Marina at Chris Larsen Park on Thursday night, according to Sioux City Fire Rescue.

Fire officials said Friday they weren't sure what sparked the fire, which was first reported around 9:06 p.m., said assistant fire chief Dan Cougill.

The boat was fully engulfed in flames and was floating downriver when fire crews arrived on scene, Cougill said. A volunteer marine rescue crew, the Marine Emergency Response Team, dispatched a boat with a water pump and began to fight the fire.

The crew, formerly the local Coast Guard team, helped the South Sioux City Fire Department extinguish the fire, said crew member Doug Potts.

They were able to put out the fire near the Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA in South Sioux City, said Potts. 

"The problem was, it kept drifting down shore faster than (the firefighters) could get hoses out to it," Potts said. "So basically we started shooting water from the water side and pinned it against the bank until (the fire) was extinguished."

No injuries were reported, said Cougill. Potts said the emergency communications services said the boat's occupants had escaped the boat early on.  

The boat itself didn't fare as well, said Potts. 

"It's unusual to have a boat fire like that," said Potts. "Unfortunately, there was nothing left. (The boat) was totally destroyed."  

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