Man burned on boat in critical condition

Fire on Hendricks Isle destroys 2 boats

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -

A 50-year-old man who suffered burns on 90 percent of his body when his boat caught fire was in critical but stable condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

The Chico Malo, a 40-foot Mainship Motor Yacht, caught fire at 77 Hendricks Isle about 7:35 a.m. Wednesday. The flames then spread to a 38-foot Hunter sailboat.

The Fort Lauderdale Fire Marshal's office said a man onboard, identified by friends as 50-year-old Bart Lopresti, smelled gasoline, and noted the odor became stronger when he went below deck. He turned on the blige pump, which appeared to ignite the flames.

Lopresti, his 4-year-old son, and the boy's mother were onboard, said Reggie Fecteau, the manager at KiraMar Waterfront Villas. It was their last week of a three-week vacation from New Jersey.

Lopresti needs skin grafts for his hands, which suffered second- and third-degree burns, according to Fecteau.

Lopresti's son and the boy's mother weren't injured.

Two men onboard the sailboat also weren't injured. Both boats were destroyed.

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