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2 Boats Go Up In Flames After Explosion At Miami Marina

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Firefighters are investigating what led to a boat exploding Monday in Miami.

It happened at a marina on 21st Avenue and 12th Street at approximately 1:30 p.m.

Miami Boat Fire
Boat explosion sparked fire on Miami waterway. (Source: Maritza Batista)

The explosion sent many people in the area running for their safety.

The 24-foot Captain Jack boat caught fire in what witnesses described as an explosion.

Felipe Francia was working on a boat right across the way at the time.

"I see like a big explosion," she said. "Big one."

William Jackson was sleeping in the building right next to all this.

"I heard like a boom," he explained. "I thought somebody hit the wall. And the picture came off [the wall] and hit me on the top of the head. "

Jackson came out and found folks at the marina trying to use fire extinguishers, but it had little effect.

"There was a guy working on the boat and he said his boat just exploded," Jackson said. "He didn't get hurt at all. His boat there in the water."

The fire spread to a nearby 50-foot catamaran, with heavy smoke covering the area.

There was so much smoke, confusing calls to 911 began coming in that several boats and a house were on fire.

As firefighters worked to put of the flames out, onlookers were critical of how long it took them to arrive.

The fireboat arrived by the time the fire was practically out.

"The response time was rather quick," Captain Ignatius Carroll with City of Miami Fire Rescue said. "But they have to understand maneuvering through an area that has a lot of stuff around it makes it difficult for the firefighters to get to it.  Especially in an area that's filled with a lot of smoke."

Miami Fire Rescue estimates it took about 30 minutes to get it all under control.

In the end, two boats are badly damaged and a few other have some issues due to the heat.

But no one hurt in what could have been much worse.

"I'm glad I'm alright because that picture came off the wall and hit me in head," Jackson said.

There are conflicting stories that this started when someone was working on the boat or when someone was fueling a boat.

Fire investigators are looking into it.

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