July 6, 2013

Two Maine boat explosions injure 3 people

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Firefighters extinguish a boat fire at East End Beach in Portland on Friday.

Courtesy Wendy Napolitano

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Portland firefighters examine a boat that exploded and caught fire at the boat launch at the Eastern Prom in Portland on Friday.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

The department's fire investigator will try to determine the exact cause of the explosion after talking to the victim and studying the boat's wreckage, Jackson said.

In Gardiner, firefighters used foam to suppress the gasoline fire that kept re-igniting the boat. All four people on board jumped into the river after the explosion and were picked up by another boater, investigators said.

Two women, Vickie Massey and Liliane Davidson of Oakland, were taken by ambulance to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta.

Sgt. Ken Grimes of the state Fire Marshal's Office said it appeared their injuries were not life-threatening.

Also on the boat were Jeffrey Massey and Howard Davidson. Grimes said the boat is owned by the Masseys, who live in Oakland, and had been in the water several times this season.

Grimes said the women were sitting in the back of the boat, on either side of the engine compartment, and the men were in the front of the boat. They planned to cruise to Boothbay Harbor, he said.

Marine Patrol Sgt. Rene Cloutier said the fire could have originated after gasoline ended up in the bilge during fueling and was ignited by a spark from starting the engine. Cloutier said that on extremely hot days, more gasoline vaporizes, which can increase the risk.

Terry Malloy of Augusta, who was fishing near the landing for stripers, said the people had launched the boat and drifted out into the channel.

"I heard a loud bang and explosion and heard everybody hollering, 'Get off the boat! Get off the boat!' " Malloy said.

He called 911 for help and then watched as the flaming boat headed south down the river and drifted ashore in Pittston, just beyond the Randolph town line.

Firefighters from Randolph and Pittston used foam to put out the blaze on the fiberglass boat.

-- Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Betty Adams contributed to this report.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:


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Additional Photos

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A Portland firefighter sprays foam on a piling at the East End boat dock in Portland where a boat, at left, exploded and caught on fire on Friday.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer


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