Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Feb. 18, 2020

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Victims of boat fire improving, family says

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An Oregon family is counting its blessings after a boat fire last weekend.

When the Krussman family boat caught fire and sank in Swift Reservoir on Saturday, three of seven occupants were injured. But things could have been much worse, Grandma Kay Krussman of Hillsboro, Ore., said on Monday.

“The potential for much more harm and damage was huge,” Krussman, who was not on the boat, said. “We feel like God

really protected us.”

Seth Krussman and his son, Spencer, 6, of Hillsboro were transported to the burn unit at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland after the fire on Saturday. Seth’s sister, Erin Hrabal of Beaverton, was treated for burns on the scene. All three were home and recovering Monday morning.

Also onboard was Erin’s husband, Alan Hrabal, and their daughters, Emelie, 10; Dorianne, 8; and Simone, 4. Everyone on the boat was wearing a life jacket, according to Grandfather Harry Krussman.

Initial reports didn’t sound good for the occupants.

Skamania County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of a boat that was on fire just after 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The boat was reported to be about five miles west of the boat launch at Swift Forest Camp campground, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.

The fire was caused by the boat’s engine “exploding,” Harry Krussman said.

“My son (Seth) that got burned happened to be standing between where the kids were and where the casing was,” Kay Krussman said. He had just put his life vest on and would have been injured worse if his back had been directly exposed to the fire, she said. “If he didn’t have that on, there would be horrendous burns.”

“My grandson is doing fine,” Krussman said Monday morning. Spencer had a minor burn on the leg and was released. Seth Krussman has burns on his head, hands and the back of his arms. He was released and is now being taken care of at his father’s home in Hillsboro.

They were vacationing at the family’s cabin near the reservoir, which is east of Cougar.

Harry Krussman wasn’t at the reservoir when the boat’s engine exploded, he said.

“Even if you’re not there, it’s traumatic,” Krussman said. “The boat was burned, but that can be replaced.”

His family can’t, he said.

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