Crime

Pontoon boat was stolen before it exploded into flames near Prosser

Boating safety tips for Tri-Citians

Deputy JP Benitez of the Benton County Sheriff's Office offers these water safety tips and boat handling guidelines for boat operators using rivers around the Mid-Columbia.
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Deputy JP Benitez of the Benton County Sheriff's Office offers these water safety tips and boat handling guidelines for boat operators using rivers around the Mid-Columbia.

Someone may have set a stolen boat on fire in the Yakima River near Prosser.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the suspicious fire that started shortly after noon Thursday.

The stolen pontoon boat was found a couple days ago west of Prosser and was tied off until the owner could get it back home, the sheriff’s office said.

Burning boat
Benton County sheriff’s investigators are looking into a suspicious fire that started on a stolen boat Thursday afternoon. Benton County Sheriff's Office

People heard an explosion and spotted the boat fully engulfed in flames near Ward Gap and Byron roads Thursday and called 911.

When firefighters arrived, they found it floating down the middle of the river.

No one was on board at the time the fire started, according to authorities.

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.
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