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DANIA BEACH (CBSMiami) – Fire lit up the sky early Wednesday morning when a boat went up in flames at the Dania Beach Marina.
Carolyn Grasso and her husband own the ‘Lady Di’, a 42-foot Criss Craft luxury vessel.
“This was our dream and we both worked our whole lives to have our dream,” she said.
Grasso and her husband, who live on the boat, said they just barely made it off alive with their dog.
“One more minute and we wouldn’t be here right now,” she said.
When Broward Sheriff’s fire crews arrived, the vessel was fully engulfed in flames. The boat is a total loss.
Grasso said she and her husband were asleep on the boat when their neighbor Greg Heath woke them.
“A bang, something went off, and I looked outside and down the dock to the boat at the end of the dock that my neighbors live in, the top of it was completely on fire,” said Heath.
Heath said he sprang into action, yelling to call 911 as he ran to Grasso’s vessel.
“I got in the boat and started pounding on the glass door,” he said. “I’m just yelling ‘get of the boat, the boat is on fire’ as I hit the doors as hard as I could.”
She said they barely had time to grab a few things and their dog Cocoa. Heath said it was a race against time as the fire spread across the canvas top of the boat.
“I got the door open, saying go to the left, go to the left,” said Heath. “We got off from it and the canvas just fell in and the whole thing went up. I have never seen a fire explode that fast, that quickly.”
It took 60 firefighters from BSO and Ft. Lauderdale approximately two hours to fully extinguish the fire. No word on what sparked it.
There were no injuries reported and no other boats at the marina were affected.
Grasso, who said they lost everything they owned, will be eternally grateful to the man who saved their lives.
“If Greg wasn’t awake, we wouldn’t be alive right,” she said.
Heath said he doesn’t feel like much of a hero.
“A hero would have saved their boat,” he said. “Being lucky enough to be awake in the right place at the right time, that’s all that was, thank God.”