A man was being treated for injuries suffered after an explosion and fire aboard his boat Saturday night in Casco Bay, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Authorities said the man was pulled from the water off Chebeague Island by a nearby boater.

Paul Conner, operations controller at the Coast Guard station in South Portland, said the man was being treated at Maine Medical Center for burns. “To what extent, I don’t know,” he said.

Officials are not identifying the owner or the good Samaritan at this time. And the exact cause of the fire is not yet known.

Conner said early reports indicate maintenance was being performed on the 36-foot Pacemaker boat, the Reel Freedom, when an explosion occurred, setting the vessel on fire.

“We think it may have been a commercial boat of some kind,” he said.

Steve Train, a local lobsterman, responded to the call as a member of Long Island fire and rescue. He said the boat burned to the waterline and then sank.

“The boat was fully engulfed when we got there,” Train said. “By the time we left, it was gone.”

The fire was reported around 8:25 p.m., according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Marisela Horne, who said the Portland Fire Department and the Maine Marine Patrol also responded.

A nearby boater helped pull the owner out of the water, Horne said.

“One person was on board and they are safely recovered by a good Samaritan,” she said.

It was the second significant boat fire reported in the past week in Maine.

On Wednesday, an 18-foot 1997 Rinker motorboat caught fire on Morrill Pond in Hartland and burned to the waterline. A 43-year-old Georgia man and seven other people – all under the age of 16 – were boarding another vessel after their boat ran out of gas. As they were boarding the other boat, their motorboat burst into flames. One of the boys was slightly burned during the incident.

 

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