Woman airlifted for burns after boat catches fire on Lake Norman

SHERRILLS FORD, N.C. — A woman was airlifted to the hospital after the boat she was on caught fire in Lake Norman on Memorial Day, officials told Channel 9.

Rescue crews responded to the boat fire around 5:30 p.m. at Slanting Bridge Road over Lake Norman.

While en route, officials learned that the boat was still in the water and there were multiple injuries.

Wildlife officers pulled the five people from the water, and airlifted Bailey Johnson, 27, to the hospital, officials said.

Dillion Duncan, 26, was also transported to the hospital.

"We were out there patrolling the lake and heard a loud noise," Matthew Lee with NC Wildlife said. "At that point, we responded over there, got folks out of the water and the medical attention they needed."

The other people on board have been identified as Timothy Noyes, 29, Haleigh Lipford, 28, and Shane Evans, 23. Noyes owned the boat and was the driver, officials said. Officials said no one was wearing a life jacket at the time of the fire.

(Photo courtesy @LakeNormanMike & Lauren Steele)

Another person was taken to a nearby hospital while a third person was treated at the scene, according to officials.

In video Channel 9 obtained from a witness, smoke can be seen billowing from the boat, and there wasn't much left after the fire was put out.

“Everybody will tell you the same thing, that's just their fear that their boat is going to catch fire. It could happen,” witness Teresa Slaughter said.

Penny Baker had talked with several people on the boat before it caught fire while working at the Snack Shack on the lake and shared with a cellphone picture as it burned.

She said they had been working on the boat before heading back out. She was there as several of those on board came ashore.

"One of the boys jumped in the water before it blew up," she said. "The other two boys got burned pretty bad."

Wildlife officers said Tuesday that even with all the damage they are hoping to pinpoint a possible cause in the next few days.

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