STRATFORD - At least three people were rescued when a clamming boat erupted in flames Saturday at the mouth of the Housatonic River in Stratford.

Firefighters say the incident began at around 1 p.m. when something sparked 450 gallons of fuel that were being stored on the 40-foot boat.

The people aboard the boat had to jump into the water and wait to be rescued. One of the victims suffered serious third-degree burns to his arms.

Dozens of patrons at Knapp's Landing Restaurant watched the spectacle on the water unfold. First responders crowded the restaurant's parking lot as the victims were brought to shore.

Authorities credit the initial firefighting efforts to fishermen on the clamming boat, who they say rushed to the fire and began dousing it with water.

One of the fishermen on the boat, Chris Dargel, of Milford, says he's grateful to be alive. Dargel says his captain tried to put out the flames when the boat's generator caught fire, but they got out of control.

He says he and his coworker are fine, but the captain burned his arm pretty badly while trying to put out the fire.

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The Coast Guard initially said that four people had been rescued, but Stratford fire officials now say three people were aboard the boat.