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2 injured in fire on Tahoe Queen paddle wheeler

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Fire crews at Lake Tahoe contained a blaze Tuesday morning on a popular tourist cruise boat docked on the south end of the lake.

Fire officials said one contractor suffered smoke inhalation while working on the largely unoccupied Tahoe Queen paddle wheeler docked at Zephyr Cove and another was treated for a back injury Tuesday morning.

The fire was reported shortly before 8 a.m. and put out within the hour.

Kate Warner, office manager for the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District, told the Associated Press that the U.S. Coast Guard circled the boat with floating booms to capture any debris from the fire. She said there had been no fuel or other leakage into the mountain lake.

Eric Guevin, fire marshal for the Tahoe Douglas Fire District, said one contractor suffered from smoke inhalation. A second contractor attempted to escape the fire from the third deck by jumping to the second deck area and sustained a back strain. No one else was injured and the two contractors did not need hospital attention.

The popular two-story cruiser operated by a motorized paddle wheel has been out of service since late last year and is undergoing renovations, said David Freireich, a spokesman for Aramark, which owns the Tahoe Queen and another Lake Tahoe paddle wheel cruiser, the MS Dixie.

Freireich said Tuesday afternoon that the cause of the fire is under investigation and the extent of damage has not been determined.

The Tahoe Queen and MS Dixie are moored at the same pier. The pier was closed due to the fire, forcing cancellation of the 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. MS Dixie tours. Freireich said the company was awaiting additional information to determine when the MS Dixie tours can resume.

The Bee’s Jesisca Hice and Cathy Locke contributed to this story.

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