Nearly 200 boats damaged in eastern Missouri marina fire

Associated Press
The Rolla Daily News

ST. CHARLES — A massive fire at an eastern Missouri marina destroyed or damaged nearly 200 boats and left at least one person injured, authorities there said. 

The fire broke out Wednesday at the Woodland Marina along the Mississippi River in St. Charles County. Firefighters were called to the marina just before 3 p.m. and believe the blaze started in a storage area for boats. 

Fire chief Jeremy Hollrah said 140 boats were destroyed in the fire, and dozens more were damaged. A marina mechanic suffered burns, was taken to a hospital with burns and released Wednesday night, officials said.

Smoke from the fire was visible from miles away. About 100 firefighters were on scene to help fight the fire, which was brought under control about three hours after firefighters arrived.

Richard Reichert told  television station KSKD that his boat was destroyed in the fire.

"It's sad. I'd say it was worth in the $50,000 to $60,000 range," Reichert said. "Boats are replaceable. Lives are not, so we'll go from there." 

The cause of the fire in under investigation.