The Mesa County Sheriff's Office says Cody Sellards and Timothy Long tried to steal gas from Hank Ibarra's boat early Friday morning.
"They were looking inside the gas can to see how much room, or how full the gas can was of gas," said Heather Benjamin, spokesperson for the Mesa County Sheriff's Office. "They looked into it with a cigarette lighter and the fumes caught on fire."
"It was pretty exciting," Ibarra said. "About 3:15, the neighbors called, my wife answered the phone … Of course I got woke up and she said, 'The boat's on fire.'"
Actually, the boat wasn't on fire; the flames were coming from the gas can in front of it.
When Ibarra told authorities the burnt jacket found near the scene wasn't his, deputies called St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction and asked if anyone had come in with burns. That's how they found Sellards. Long's injuries were not immediately known.
Sellards and Long face fourth-degree arson, theft and trespassing charges.
As for Ibarra, he says he'll be keeping his gas tanks inside from now on, and he hopes Sellards and Long learned a lesson.
"If you haven't got better sense than to check gas with a lighter or match to see the level of what's in it, or how much is in the can, I guess you deserve what you get," Ibarra said.
(Copyright KUSA*TV, All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)