Three boats sink, two more damaged in Marina fire

Published: Feb. 14, 2015 at 3:18 PM CST|Updated: May. 19, 2016 at 9:22 PM CDT
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(Source: @loriatha58 on Twitter)
(Source: @loriatha58 on Twitter)
Edward Parker (Source: EPD)
Edward Parker (Source: EPD)
Katherine Riecken-Parker (Source: EPD)
Katherine Riecken-Parker (Source: EPD)

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Three boats sank and two more vessels were damaged in an overnight fire at the Inland Marina.

The blaze sparked up just after midnight Saturday and left more than $2 million in damage.

"At 7 a.m. there was a rekindle of one of the boats and so we had a second fire but it's believed to all be related to the first one"

Fire investigator Richard Howard says because of the money lost and the strange sequence of events -- they're still investigating.

"Basically a combination of errors took place that led up to this fire. We had an electrical problem, we had some kerosene tipped over because we had workers inside the boat cleaning it. I believe that the boat was to be sold today."

Three people were cleaning a boat docked in the marina when the fire started.

One female suffered smoke inhalation and was treated at the scene.

Now, investigators are working to verify the workers statements.

Officials say the fire went to second alarm -- calling in other companies to help put it out.

"For water supply and for manpower, it's difficult to fight a fire that's moving and that's on water and with no access"

While crews fought the fire, police arrested two people on scene.

47-year-old Edward Parker and his wife 33-year-old Katherine Riecken-Parker are facing several charges including resisting law enforcement.

Officers say the couple was interfering with firefighters' attempts to put the fire out. Police say both smelled like alcohol.  They have been released from the Vanderburgh County Jail.

DNR and the Coast Guard were called in for damage control.

"We are dealing with fuel leaks right now. We're concerned. We're dealing with it, however, the way the inlet and the water flows. It's trapped in the inlet"

Firefighters put down the floodgate to keep the oil from seeping into the wetlands and are working on cleaning up the spill.

Fire investigators say it could take a few days to determine the cause of this fire.

Authorities also detained Ron Riecken, Katherine's dad and Evansville mayoral candidate Gail Riecken's husband. But, they did not arrest him.

Related Story:

Two arrested after fire at Inland Marina

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