UPDATE: Son dies in of injuries after boat explosion in Hillsdale County; father in serious conditon


UPDATE 10:30 a.m. – The Michigan State Police has confirmed that the son has died of injuries received in a boat engine fire. 35-year-old Lawrence Piette Jr died after being severely burned in the accident. His father, 62-year-old Lawrence Piette, is in serious condition in a local hospital.

This story continues to develop and we’ll have updates online and on 6 News.

HILLSDALE COUNTY, MI (WLNS) – A man and his son are in the hospital with severe burns after a fire engulfed the boat they were working on.

It happened at a home near Beulow Road and Jonesville Road.

The boat is now just a shell — blackened and burned and, the site of where a father and son were seriously injured.

Michigan State Police Jackson Post Lt. Andy Stoner said, “out behind the house here working on a boat when evidently putting in a new motor and dealing with fuel and oil . . . just the fumes were ignited and the boat exploded.”

The explosion left the father and son, ages 62 and 35-years-old with severe burns according to Michigan State Police. Shaking this rural Hillsdale County area.

Nearby resident James Cross said, “I just rode my bicycle past and the boat was totally in flames and there was a guy sitting in the boat. By the time I got my bicycle parked they got him out of the boat, they had him on the ground and his shorts were still burning.”

Those neighbors may have played a key role.

“Luckily, there were some neighbors nearby who did hear and witness the explosion and, were able to assist the two males working on the boat. Unfortunately {there were} extensive injuries,” said Lt. Stoner.

Injuries caused from one small mistake.

Lt. Stoner said, “this appears to be an accident just due to trying to remove fuel from a fuel container.”

At last report both men were being treated for extensive burns.

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