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Fire At Ponder Boats Ruled Accident

Last updated on Sunday, June 10, 2012

(ENGLISH) - A fire that destroyed Ponder Boats just outside Taswell was the result of an accident. English fire chief Mike Benham says the owner, Robert Jones was working on one of the boats at about 6:30 yesterday morning.

Benham says Jones fell while filling a boat with fuel. He apparently fell on a battery charger and a spark from the charger ignited the fuel and the fire quickly spread.

The fire quickly spread and had totally engulfed the building by the time firefighters arrived. Jones was found unconscious but alive lying just outside the building. Benham says Jones tried to get to his house next door to call for help but was overcome by smoke.
He was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for cuts and scrapes on his head from falling in the parking lot and a burn on one of his arms.

Benham says the business building was completely destroyed as were 16 boats on site. Benham says a passerby was the first to report the fire. Dense black smoke could be seen as far away as English.

This is the second fire at Ponder Boats in the last four years. In 2008 a storm passed through the local area that was the result of Hurricane Ike.

The storm knocked out power to that part of western Crawford County. It also knocked down a power line on top of the Ponder building. But no one saw the downed power line, so when power was restored at about 1 in the morning... it caught the building on fire.

No word yet, if Jones plans to rebuild for a second time.

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