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Pic: Tim O'Keefe,
Wraysbury Boathouse

Pic: Royal Berks Fire & Rescue

Four people were taken to hospital after a big boat blaze on the River Thames. A fifth person was treated by ambulance crews at the scene.

Thick columns of black smoke billowed up from the vessel after it caught fire while moored at Saxon Moorings in Old Windsor. One boat was destroyed and another four are understood to have been damaged.

Tim O’Keefe of Wraysbury Boathouse witnessed the fire. He said: “My son Chris paddled across as soon as we saw the smoke and he rendered assistance  to [a] boat owner and kept people at a safe distance until the fire services arrived.  We don't know the final details but about five boats were burnt.”

Local resident Dean Davis told the Windsor Express: "I saw one guy come running down the road to direct the fire engine.His hair was singed and he was out of breath so I sat him down. He said one of the guys had to jump in the water."

Firefighters from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service including some on a specialist fire boat attended the blaze - which destroyed the 25ft vessel.

Pics: Tim O'Keefe & RBFRS

Paramedics from South Central Ambulance Service also attended and treated five people, four of whom were taken to hospital.

A spokeswoman said: "We sent three ambulance crews, four ambulance officers, a rapid response vehicle and the Thames Valley Air Ambulance who were on scene assessing and treating five patients, one female and four males all for minor burns and smoke inhalation.

"One male was treated and discharged at the scene, one female and one male conveyed to Wexham Park Hospital. The remaining two males were conveyed to St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey."

The cause of the fire is unknown but one, so far unconfirmed, line of inquiry is whether or not a boat was being refuelled at the time.

Story dated July 3rd 2015