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Riverboat catches fire on McKellar Lake

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A large river boat caught fire on McKellar Lake on Thursday.

Owner Capt. William Lozier with Memphis Riverboats said the boat was being deconstructed by scrap workers when the debris fire began.

No one was injured, he said.

It was the latest stage in a long strange trip for the former Rhythm City Casino from Davenport, Iowa.

Memphis Riverboats originally wanted to use the former casino boat to host weddings, proms and other events near its other boats on the Beale Street Landing.

But after a dispute with the Riverfront Development Corporation last year, the boat was left grounded downriver. Lozier said workers were tearing it down to be used as a barge.

In 2016, the city spent $1.7 million on a new firefighting barge for river fires but that barge hadn’t been deployed Thursday afternoon.


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