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Murray man burned badly in boat blast

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MURRAY — A 45-year-old Murray man was flown to the University of Utah burn center in critical condition Friday after the boat he was working on exploded for an unknown reason.

The man suffered first- and second-degree burns over about 45 percent of his body, including his head, mouth and neck, said Murray deputy fire marshal Jesse Valenzuela.

When fire crews arrived at the man's home on Montrose Street at about 5300 South, the boat was burning and the man was stumbling around the back yard, Valenzuela said. He couldn't tell officials what happened, or even how he came to be outside the boat.

"It flashed so fast that one minute he was in the boat, the next minute he was on the lawn," Valenzuela said.

Neighbors heard the explosion and called 911. A three-man fire crew was nearby on State Street, and was able to respond to the scene within minutes, Valenzuela said.

One firefighter was able to prevent the fire from spreading to a nearby garage, while the others tended to the man's injuries. He was having difficulty breathing, which indicates he may have inhaled some of the smoke and possibly damaged his lungs, Valenzuela said.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation.