Paul K. Epstein: Palm City resident hospitalized after garage explosion

PALM CITY, Fla. - A man who said he was working on his boat was burned after his garage caught fire in Martin County on Wednesday night.

The State Fire Marshal along with Martin County Fire Rescue responded to the fire at a detached garage in the 5600 block of SW Sunshine Farms Way around 7 p.m.

Investigators said the victim was identified as Paul K. Epstein, 50, of Palm City, Fla.

When deputies arrived, they found a disoriented Epstein at the edge of a driveway on the property.   Officials said he tried to go back into the burning building to retrieve his keys and phone, but deputies were able to prevent him.

PHOTOS: Palm City garage fire (

One home was evacuated near the building. Neighbors who live blocks away from the scene also report hearing blasts. 

Crews with the Martin County Fire Rescue helped to extinguish the blaze and reported the smell of ammonia inside the building.

Epstein was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami where he is in critical but stable condition.  The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

The large fire destroyed various equipment and vehicles including a truck, car, tractor, Bobcat, sport-utility vehicle and boat.

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