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Silver Lake boat rental trailer burned

Fire at Silver Lake boat rental causes an estimated $25,000 in damage.

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Fire line tape marks where a structure at Silver Lake Boat & Bicycle Rental burned overnight Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at the east side of Silver Lake. (Ken Klotzbach / kklotzbach@postbulletin.com)

An early morning fire Wednesday at Silver Lake may have destroyed the train but boat rentals will continue, business co-owner Ben Owens said.

The Rochester Fire Department was sent about 4:20 a.m. to 770 W. Silver Lake Dr. NE for a report of a suspicious odor and a light haze in the area, according to a news release from the fire department.

Firefighters found a fire at the boat rental structure near the lake and were able to use a hose to extinguish it. An additional engine company was called to help establish water supply.

Silver Lake Boat & Bike Rentals, a seasonal business, is owned by brothers Ben, Eli and Caleb Owens who took over the business in May. They also own the inflatable water park feature in Rochester’s Foster Arend Park.

"I was speechless. I still kind of am," Ben Owens said later Wednesday.

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Owens and the business’ former owner worked together Wednesday morning to clear the destroyed trailer and resulting debris from the site. Owens said he and his brothers plan to open Thursday for regular business hours.

The boat rental trailer sustained heavy fire damage that is estimated at $25,000, according to the fire department. The trailer was used as a pay station for would-be renters and stored about a 100 life vests and cooler for selling beverages.

Owens said he and his brothers are grateful for the supportive comments they’ve seen on social media since the news broke.

“We have been pretty excited to not only operate a business but one that has over 50 years of history in this community. It is nice to know that not only do they care by coming and supporting us, but that they are affected by this too and they are saddened by this,” Owens said of community members. “We’ve noticed that and we care about them, too, and we appreciate their concern.”

The Fire Marshal's Office was called to investigate the fire. The cause of the fire was undetermined Wednesday afternoon.


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