KCFD says all 8 were aboard boat when flash fire erupted after fueling

The Kern County Fire Department has confirmed that four children and four adults suffered burn injuries today in a boat fire at Buena Vista Lake.

Two of the patients, a child and adult with the most severe injuries, were flown by a KCFD helicopter staffed by paramedics to a Bakersfield hospital.

Fire Department spokesman Capt. Tom Ellison said all eight victims were on a boat that had just fueled and was moving away from the dock when the fire broke out just before 9:30 a.m..

Ellison said it is believed fumes from the fuel were somehow ignited and a flash fire resulted.

At one point as many as four air ambulances were being sought to evacuate patients, but Hall Air Ambulance based in Bakersfield was committed to another incident and Mercy Air in Inyokern reported an extended response time of more than 40 minutes, the KCFD reported Sunday afternoon. Air ambulances from the outer parts of Kern County and other counties were also reporting extended response times.

Kern County Fire Helicopter 408, based in Keene was dispatched and transported the two most severely injured patients to Memorial Hospital.

The patients with the most severe injuries were treated by Firefighter/EMTs on the ground and then transferred to two paramedics on Helicopter 408 for an 8 minute flight to Memorial Hospital, the KCFD said.

The other six patients were transported by Hall Ambulance ground units to Bakersfield hospitals.