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Citizens band together to help boat captain

By Staff | May 4, 2012

Captiva citizens are coming to the aid of Capt. Dennis Biram, the owner of two boats destroyed by fire off Captiva on April 21.

According to resident Jack Cunningham, a group of people have organized a fundraiser to financially assist Biram in his time of need.

Jimmy Jensen’s band, The Troublestarters, will provide entertainment at their customary outdoor location at Jensen’s Marina at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. It’s a pot-luck affair and all are invited to attend. Voluntary donations will be accepted.

The funds will help Biram raise and properly dispose of the houseboat that sank 500 feet offshore after the blaze.

Biram was working on the fuel system of a generator onboard one of the boats when a backfire ignited some spilled gasoline. The flames spread from one boat to a second anchored together in the channel with a third boat. Biram has lived aboard the houseboat for many years.

Biram, who suffered minor burns, managed to set the two flaming craft adrift. The fires were extinguished by units responding from the Sanibel Fire District, Iona-McGregor, Pine Island, U.S. Coast Guard and the Lee County Sheriff Marine Unit.

The second vessel, a powerboat, drifted ashore into mangroves where it stayed after the incident. It since has been removed from the island.