Boat catches fire while out on Anchor Bay; 5 rescued from water

CLAY TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A small boat with five passengers caught fire while in Anchor Bay on Friday.

Amber Ennis, 31, said she was on the boat with her three small children and her fiancée, 38-year-old Jason Keller, when it caught fire. Keller tried to extinguish the fire but eventually had to get them all off the boat and into the water, which was about 7 feet deep. 

Ennis said the kids -- ages 3, 5, and 5 -- had life jackets but she and Keller did not because they couldn't access the jackets due to the fire. She said she felt like she was drowning at one point. 

Finally, the group was rescued by neighbors who noticed the fire from the shore. Ennis said the neighbors were able to bring their boat out and rescue all of them. She said the water was very cold and she thinks they all suffered hypothermia. 

However, Ennis said she credits Keller for his quick thinking to save them from the fire and sinking boat. Keller is the Ira Township fire chief. 

The cause of the fire is not known at this time. Ennis said it may have been gas-related. She said this was their second time out on the water with it. They had recently purchased it used. 

A Local 4 viewer sent in video taken from shore showing black smoke billowing from the small boat.

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