Man seriously hurt when 2 sailboats catch fire in Florida Keys

Video shows people jumping into water to escape flames

TAVERNIER, Fla. – A man was seriously hurt when two sailboats caught fire Friday at a marina in the Florida Keys, authorities said.

A spokesperson for Monroe County Fire Rescue said the fire broke out around 8:30 p.m. at the Mangrove Marina in the 200 block of Florida Avenue in Tavernier. Firefighters put out the flames within an hour, the spokesperson said.

Paramedics airlifted the man who suffered serious burns to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in Miami. His condition was not disclosed.

Witnesses told Local 10 News' Janine Stanwood that an explosion on one of the boats appears to have caused the fire. John Hall, whose boat is docked nearby, tried to contain the flames before firefighters arrived.

"This boat exploded. It went up in flames right away. Within 30 seconds it was totally engulfed in flames. And I had no idea when the Fire Department was going to get here, so I just got a hose out," Hall said.

Hall suffered minor burns on his arms and legs as he tried to stop the fire from spreading to other boats in the marina.

"The adrenaline was flowing so strong," Hall said. "You do what you got to do."

Ben Trainer, who recorded several videos of the fires, said the explosion shook his home, which is about a block away from the marina.

In the video, people are shown jumping into the water to escape the flames.

"Swim for the dock, bro. Swim!" Trainer says in the video. "Jump! Get off the boat!"

The Monroe County fire marshal is investigating the cause of the blaze.

About the Authors:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.