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Boat explosion near Horsetooth Reservoir marina injures 6

Poudre Fire said four of the victims were taken to the hospital, and two were treated at the scene.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Six people were injured Saturday in a boat explosion near the marina on Horsetooth Reservoir near Fort Collins, Poudre Fire Authority (PFA) said.

One victim was taken to the hospital by helicopter with respiratory burns, three victims were taken by ambulance, and two victims were treated at the scene, PFA said.

The explosion took place about 8:45 a.m., and PFA said the Larimer County Sheriff's Office was also investigating.

PFA said witnesses reported seeing the boat leave the marina. 

Chris Wolf of Poudre Fire Authority told 9NEWS witnesses said people on board the boat "were having some difficulty getting the boat started. At one point they started the motor and it exploded."

PFA said one person was thrown from the boat when it exploded, and the other five jumped into the water and began swimming to the dock. The Larimer County Rangers rescued them from the water.  

Joanie Wiesman had just finished a hike in the area when she saw the smoke.

She told 9NEWS she saw a barge push the boat to the edge of the reservoir so that it didn't catch any other boats on fire.

"I've been up here for 36 years and have never seen anything like it," she said.

By 10:22 a.m. PFA said crews gained control of the fire and were clearing the scene.

The boat was then towed to the boat ramp for removal from the reservoir, but the fire reignited after the boat was removed because of the intense heat remaining, PFA said. Firefighters were able to quickly put it out. 

A viewer who sent in the video below said the explosion shook the foothills of his neighborhood.

PFA shared a video on their Twitter page that showed smoke still rising from the boat.

PFA said the incident shows the importance of using life vests or personal flotation devices anytime a person is on water, even in environments that seem stable and safe. 

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