MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Firefighters spent part of Thursday afternoon battling a fire on a boat in the Miami River.

The boat was docked near 2190 NW River Drive.

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Courtesy: J.T. Dowling

Courtesy: J.T. Dowling

The owner had just gassed the boat up as mechanic Claudio Santiesteban climbed on board.

“He went to start the engine and it just blew. I was right above the engine hatches. I thought my legs were on fire. I was going to jump in the water,” said  Santiesteban.

He was burned on his feet and the backs of his legs.  The blast blew his cell phone to pieces.

Fire department officials believe spilled gasoline must have seeped into the engine compartment and exploded when the owner hit the ignition.

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Smoke could be seen billowing from the boat as Chopper 4 flew over the area.

The damage to the boat appeared to be extensive but firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading to other boats or gas tanks.

Paramedics treated Santiesteban at the scene for injuries.

Watch the report, click here.


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