Beaufort County man severely burned while working on boat

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A Beaufort County man was severely burned when trying to take a fuel tank out of his boat Friday night, according to Chocowinity fire officials.

Chief Tommy Pendley says Chocowinity Fire & EMS responded to a home off Gilead Shores Road near Camp Hardee Road around 9:20 p.m.

The man, who is in his forties, had been working on a boat in his yard. When he went to unhook something from the tank, Pendley says a spark ignited and caused a fire. The man was stuck inside the boat for a couple of minutes as the fire raged on. We're told family members tried to help him.

The victim was taken to Vidant Beaufort Hospital via ambulance then transferred to the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill also via ambulance. Due to bad weather, a medical helicopter couldn't fly. The man, who's identity hasn't been released, suffers from first, second, and third degree burns.

Pendley tells WITN the victim is well-known in the community, and area churches are praying for his recovery.