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California Man Burned in Sailboat Fire

Flown to Burn Center

AN ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA, MAN WAS burned over 20% of his body Thursday afternoon when a small explosion on board his 30-ft. sailboat set his clothes afire.  The accident occurred dockside where he was tied up at the Grand Marina in Alameda.

Fire investigators are working to determine the
definite cause of the explosion.  (San Jose Mercury News photo)

Josh Sailer, 30, was operating the small, propane-fed galley stove on the boat where he lives part-time, when the explosion occurred just before 1 pm Pacific.  Sailer's clothes were set alight and he received immediate burns to his hands and knees, then he came topside and jumped into the water to extinguish the flames.  The San Francisco Chronicle continues:

(W)itnesses reported hearing an explosion inside the cabin of the Newport sailboat, followed by a splash.

Sailer "self-extricated himself from the boat and jumped in the water to extinguish himself," (FD Division Chief Doug) Long said. "Then he was helped back out of the water onto the dock by other boat tenants and marina workers."

Andy McKinley, a former harbormaster at the marina who now works at a custom canvas shop there, said about 20 people ran toward the boat, many with fire extinguishers.

Some witnesses contained the fire to the cabin using hoses that were hooked up on the dock, Long said. Alameda Fire Department and Coast Guard boats that initially responded weren't needed.

The AFD paramedics treated and stabilized Sailer before he was airlifted to a burn center in Santa Clara.

Read the full story in the Chronicle HERE.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • fstbttms

    Any info on the results of the investigation? Scuttlebutt is the guy was “cooking” something and I don’t mean chicken soup.

    • firegeezer

      I just checked and nothing has been reported yet on the cause.  I can see where “cooking something on a small propane stove” could generate some speculations and chatter, though.

      FG