Fireworks cause pontoon fire on Lake Wissota Saturday night

No one was hurt after fireworks caught on fire on a pontoon about 30 feet from shore.
No one was hurt after fireworks caught on fire on a pontoon about 30 feet from shore on Lake...
No one was hurt after fireworks caught on fire on a pontoon about 30 feet from shore on Lake Wissota Saturday, July 2, 2022.(Chippewa Fire District)
Published: Jul. 3, 2022 at 10:29 AM CDT
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TOWN OF LAFAYETTE (CHIPPEWA COUNTY), Wis. (WEAU) - No one is hurt after a pontoon fire caused by fireworks happened Saturday night on Lake Wissota.

The Chippewa Fire District said in a release that they received a report about a boat on fire at 10:11 p.m. near 189th Street on Little Lake Wissota.

When crews arrived, they saw a pontoon on fire about 30 feet from shore. The Chippewa Fire District Dive Team found several small fires burning on the boat. After the fires were put out, officials learned that no one had been on the boat. The pontoon was being used as a remote launching pad for fireworks when one of the fireworks malfunctioned by catching on fire without actually launching, which then spread to the other fireworks on the boat.

The pontoon was towed to the Lafayette Boat Landing, where the fires were completely put out before being brought on shore. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department assisted in recovering the boat.

Investigators said that the boat’s owner had a valid fireworks permit issued by the Town of Lafayette and the types of fireworks on the boat are commonly sold throughout Wisconsin. The pontoon’s owner was setting off the fireworks remotely from the shore, according to John Anderson, Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention at the Chippewa Fire District.

The Chippewa Fire District said in the release that the incident is a reminder that permit holders are still responsible for safely handling and using fireworks and urged that it is safer to attend events handled by professionals rather than to put on fireworks shows at home. Officials also remind people that municipalities may have stricter ordinances than what is provided in state statute.

Damage to the pontoon has not been determined, according to officials.

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