By Mike Cronin

LACONIA, N.H. —

There were some dramatic moments Saturday afternoon at the pier near Weirs Beach: A boat engulfed in flames was pulled away from danger by two jet skiers.

“We had to think quickly. Bad things were going to happen,” said Joseph DeCubellis, one of those who pulled the boat away.Advertisement

The boat had just fueled up and was next to a gas pump. By towing it away, DeCubellis and others prevented any further damage to the pier and stopped the burning boat from hitting the MS Mount Washington, which was nearby.

“We heard a loud explosion,” said Capt. Robert Duffey of the MS Mount Washington. “I saw an engine hatch cover go up in the air, people get blown out of the boat, and the boat went on fire at the dock.”

Six passengers ended up in the water. Four of them were taken to the hospital with minor injuries and were treated and released.

People jumped into action as crews from the MS Mount Washington threw out life rings.

“I’m very proud of the crews,” said Duffey. “They just reacted like that. We do a lot of training and that’s why we do it.”

Once DeCubellis helped get the boat to deeper water, other jet skis sprayed water on the flames until firefighters arrived.

“A lot of things going on, a lot of people yelling saying, ‘Hey, we need help. We need help.’ So I’m happy to be there,” DeCubellis said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but officials said it appears to be an accident.

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