MANORHAVEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A homicide squad was investigating Wednesday night after a man died following a boat fire at the Manhasset Bay Marina, authorities said.
James Hickman, division supervisor for the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office, told WCBS 880 that the boat caught fire around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday while it was being fueled.
Detectives say two people were on the boat and two employees were fueling the boat when the explosion occurred.
Two people ended up in the water — one died, the other is “OK,” Hickman said.
“It looked like their whole gas station was on fire, would never have believed it was a boat,” local fisherman Andrew Silberman said.
Photos from the scene showed fire boats dousing the vessel with water.
“Finally the boat blew up and it blew one guy off the boat and another guy was in the boat and then a kid on the dock jumped in to save the person that was in the water,” witness Marty Caporaso said.
Police say a third employee came running to help and set the boat adrift, pushing the it away from the dock. He sustained burns to his arms and face and was transported to the hospital where he is said to be in stable condition.
The boat was destroyed. Two docks and four other boats sustained damage, Hickman said.
As TV 10/55 Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported, fire marshals have been investigating whether a fume buildup in the boat’s cabin could have triggered the powerful explosion.
The identity of the man who died has not been released.
Friends of the deceased boater were too distraught to speak, Rose reported.
Fire marshals said the recovered boat will have to be closely examined to see if there were any mechanical deficiencies that could have caused the fire.
The Manhasset Bay Marina is a 300-slip facility.
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