- Associated Press - Friday, January 13, 2017

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A paddle-wheel boat used for Lake Tahoe sightseeing and dinner cruises for more than three decades will be scrapped due to heavy damage from a fire last summer, owners of the vessel say.

Aramark Lake Tahoe Cruises official David Freireich told the Nevada Appeal (http://bit.ly/2ikPWDH) the company intends to replace the Tahoe Queen with another boat. A timetable wasn’t provided.

“Unfortunately, the Tahoe Queen was damaged beyond repair. and we decided to remove the vessel from the water, so it can be safely dismantled,” Freireich said. Crews began taking it apart on Monday.

Tahoe-Douglas Fire Marshal Eric Guevin said two of three decks of the 144-foot vessel had extensive damage.

The boat, which was able to hold up to 300 passengers, was out of service because of low lake water levels and was undergoing welding repairs and painting when it burned Aug. 16 at a dock in the Zephyr Cove Marina on the lake’s southern end, about 60 miles south of Reno.

Two workers received minor injuries and were treated at the scene - one for smoke inhalation and one for a sprained back after jumping from the boat to escape smoke and flames.

The U.S. Coast Guard is still investigating the cause of the fire.

The boat was built by the La Crosse River Boat Company in La Crosse, Wisconsin, then hauled across the country in 16 truckloads.

It was assembled and launched in August 1983 from the Tahoe Keys Marina.

A Tahoe Queen sister ship, the M.S. Dixie, was moored next to the burning boat, but suffered no damage.

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Information from: Nevada Appeal, http://www.nevadaappeal.com

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