Man airlifted to hospital after boat fire in Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Nightingale airlifted a man to the hospital Wednesday evening after a boat fire in Virginia Beach.

Firefighters were called to the 2100 block of E. Kendall Circle at 3:39 p.m. The fire was put out shortly after crews got to the scene.

Gallery: Boat fire in Virginia Beach

Investigators say the fire started as two men were working on the boat.

One of them was critically injured with burn wounds and was airlifted. A second person suffered minor injuries and was taken to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital by ambulance.

Neighbors say they heard two loud explosions before they spotted the flames.

“It was a pretty intense fire,” said Doug Davidson, who lives next door. “We were probably 100 feet away from it, we could feel it pretty good.”

Davidson says the victim is a boat mechanic and was hired to fix things up.  He says the man jumped in the water after the fire started.

“He looked like he was kind of in shock and you could see he had burns on his arms and his hands,” Davidson said. “He was in a lot of pain.”

Fire officials say they got called out earlier Wednesday afternoon for a gas leak involving the same boat. They left just 20 minutes before getting the fire call after laying out a trap to absorb the oil.

“We were out here for a gasoline leak from the boat, mechanical failure in which gasoline was in the water,” Battalion Chief Joshua Goyet said.

Investigators are working to determine what sparked the fire.

Stay with for updates on this developing story.