Police: Boy with Autism Dies in Sailboat Fire

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News Release: Associated Press
September 1, 2014

STUART, Fla. (AP) -- Police say an 11-year-old boy died when a sailboat caught fire in the waters of Stuart.

Police spokesman Brian Bossio tells The Palm Beach Post that the boy had autism and his parents tried to rescue him as the boat was engulfed in flames Sunday morning on the St. Lucie River.

Bossio says the parents were not able to save the boy and made their way into a "small dinghy-type vessel" where they were rescued. Officers were unable to board the sailboat because of the fire's extreme heat.

Police say the parents were hospitalized in Miami.

Bossio says the state medical examiner's office was processing the charred remains of the boat on Monday. City police are investigating the fire with several other agencies.

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