PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Smoke could be seen for miles in the Tri-Cities Wednesday night after a boat went up in flames.
The owner of the boat was rushed by helicopter to VCU Medical Center with serious burns.The owner had just taken a prospective buyer on a test ride when they heard the engine making a noise. When they pulled back into the dock the owner went to the engine to check it out and that’s when it exploded.
A thick plume of black smoke could be seen for miles as the skeleton of a boat lie in ruins.
“Chaotic, fire fighters everywhere, hoses, people panicking,” said Vicky Schrum as she described the scene.
The owner had just gone below the deck to check on the engine when the inferno broke out.
“I heard a boom go off and I turned around and the boat was on fire,” said Milton Emory.
Emory dialed 911.
“He jumped out and jumped in the water, when he come up on the dock I could see he had real bad burns and stuff on his arms,” said Emory.
The owner suffered severe third degree burns, and was flown to a nearby hospital.
As the fire started to spread, the fear then turned to neighboring boats.
“My boat was parked right beside it, I was thinking it was going up in flames,” said Schrum.
Owners rushed to move their boats, some still receiving minor damage. Nearly 300 gallons of gasoline were on board and it was flowing freely into the Appomattox River.
“The best method to deal with this type of hazardous situation is to let it burn off so it doesn’t continue to let it stay and remain in the river,” said Brad Owens with the Prince George Fire and EMS.
As dusk crept in, smoke could still be seen rising from the ashes, the attention solely focused on a fellow captains recovery.
“Just devastated our hearts go out to him,” said Schrum
The boat owner was in serious condition Wednesday evening.
Once we learn more, we’ll let you know.
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