Burn victim speaks out after boat fire
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Days after flames tore through a pair of boats, the man who survived the inferno is now sharing his story.
Bart Lopresti is lucky to be alive. "I have mostly second degree burns on my ankle up to my knee," said Lopresti.
Nearly a third of his body was burned when his 45-foot powerboat burst into flames Wednesday morning in Fort Lauderdale.
Lopresti spoke from his Jackson Memorial Hospital bed where he awaits more treatment on first, second, and third degree burns. He said he smelled gas shortly before the explosion. "It must've picked up fumes or whatever," said Lopresti. "It totally exploded right in front of me. And when it did this, it lifted up the floorboard, it lifted up the sofa, kitchen cabinets, counter tops. It blew out all the windows on the boat."
Lopresti said he immediately thought of his girlfriend and their 4-year-old son, Chase. Both of them were sleeping in a forward state room. "I could hear them now starting to cry," said Lopresti.
With his pants on fire, he grabbed his girlfriend and son and ran onto the dock. "He started talking to me," said Fabiola Agudelo, "but I could see that everything on his face was burned."
As the adrenaline wore off, Lopresti said he could feel the full effect of the fire. "You know, it's like when you spill a little oil on your hand," said Lopresti, "and that really ticks you off for the next week or so right? Now make that twice as deep, on 33 percent of your body. It's just intense."
While his family is safe from harm, he remains on the road to recovery. He said he knows things could have been much worse. "Thank God that I didn't get knocked over or get hit with something that would have dazed me more," said Lopresti.
His girlfriend has hope for the future. "It was a sad day, but I hope tomorrow is better," said Agudelo.
Lopresti does not have medical insurance. If you would like to help, go to http://giveforward.com/fundraiser/gt92/bartloprestiburnfund.
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