While they were still docked at a public ramp on Lake Harris in Astatula, a family’s boat suddenly caught fire Saturday afternoon. Two men and a baby were burned, according to fire officials.
“I thought it was a transformer that blew, that’s how loud it was,” Horace Mauldin, Jr. said.
The explosive sound that occurred just after the 12-foot boat’s engine was fired carried a few hundred yards away to Mauldin’s home.
“The family started getting in their boat and whenever they turned the key, the boat just blew,” Mauldin said.
Mauldin ran to see what happened and couldn’t believe the blaze he saw before him. He took video of firefighters trying to knock out the flames.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission investigators procured the video for a probe into what happened. Exactly how the fire was sparked isn’t known.
The three who were injured were flown to hospitals. The two men were taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center and the young child was rushed to Arnold Palmer Hospital for pediatric treatment.
The mother of the child was not hurt, fire officials said.
“The baby screaming and hollering and all that, that really hurt (to hear),” Mauldin said.
The boat was destroyed. Its interior was visibly charred as officials pulled it from Lake Harris hours later.
FWC officials are handling the investigation.