Pasadena man, 48, badly burned while refueling yacht at Ventnor

Cabin `flash fire' blamed on improper ventilation

October 04, 2002|By Laura Loh | Laura Loh,SUN STAFF

A Pasadena man was in guarded condition last night after being pulled from the Ventnor marina following a boat fire in which he was badly burned.

Ronald George, 48, told authorities he had just refueled his 31-foot yacht and was trying to start the engine when a "flash fire" erupted in the cabin, according to county fire Division Chief John M. Scholz.

George, whose arms, face and stomach were scorched, emerged from the cabin and dove into the water, Scholz said. Another boat owner pulled the man onto the dock, he said. The Ventnor marina is on Main Creek in northeastern Anne Arundel County.

George suffered second-degree burns over 60 percent of his body. He was airlifted to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Scholz said.

The fire likely started in the engine compartment, which was not properly ventilated, Scholz said. George told investigators he had not turned on the blowers that were designed to extract fumes from the compartment, Scholz said.

"We would caution anyone who is fueling a boat to carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions," he said.

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