Boat fire injures caretaker at camp

Posted March 15, 2010, at 8:38 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:46 a.m.

BROOKSVILLE, Maine — A caretaker at Robin Hood Camp was injured Monday morning when the small boat he was working on caught fire.

The caretaker, whose name was not immediately available, was working on a 13-foot fiberglass powerboat inside a garage at the Frederick Littlefield residence not far from the camp, according to Brooksville Fire Chief Matt Dow. The man was using a power wrench and it appears that a spark from the wrench ignited fumes in the bottom of the boat, Dow said.

“It just exploded,” Dow said. “It caught fire and it burned him. It caught his coat on fire. He was able to put himself out and he got a garden hose to try to put the fire out.”

The boat was on a trailer, and when the hose proved ineffective in dousing the fire, the caretaker pulled the boat out of the garage and down the driveway away from the garage and the house.

“That was quick thinking,” Dow said. “He saved that house.”

With the boat out of the garage, the caretaker again tried to put the fire out using fire extinguishers.

“It was so far gone,” Dow said.

Firefighters arrived to put the fire out.

The caretaker suffered first- and second-degree burns on his hands and arms and minor burns on his face. He was taken to a local hospital, was treated and later released, Dow said.

The fire destroyed the boat. The garage had only minor damage.

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