Emergency services were called to a boat fire on Friday (5th February) along the Grand Union Canal near to The Wharf, Linslade (Leighton Buzzard).
On arrival, officers found the boat well ablaze with paramedics treating one person for burns and smoke inhalation.
The retained fire crew from Leighton Buzzard attended the scene with two fire appliances along with the specialist water rescue team with a boat from Bedford Community Fire Station.
The individual from the boat is now in hospital.
A fire service spokesperson said: “On our arrival the boat was 100% involved in fire.
“Access was difficult which resulted initially in one crew fighting the fire from the opposite side of the canal with a water jet, with thanks to helpful residents at The Wharf opening doors allowing us to run hose through the building
“Quickly after this we were able to send a hose reel across the canal to a crew on the tow path closer to the boat using a floating throw line
“A gentleman was treated and taken to hospital by our colleagues from East of England Ambulance Service.
“Thanks also to Leighton Buzzard Community Policing Team for their assistance.”
A fundraising page has been established to help the individual, named by his niece in Facebook as ‘Paul.
The page says: “Paul was involved in an awful accident on Feb 5th when his canal boat caught fire. He is in a specialist hospital where he is being treated for several burns over his body. He has lost all personal belongings and everything he had.
“His boat was his home and his life. Some very kind people are asking if they could help donate and get Paul back on his feet once he’s recovered.
“Any help at all would be great fully appreciated and would relive a lot of pain and stress once Paul is better.
With these donations, we would aim to help Paul buy some clothes, furniture and basic necessities to be able to live etc.”
In a further update, posted yesterday (Sunday 7th February) it states: “I would like to start by saying how very greatful and touched we are to have received such kind and extremely generous donations. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
“Paul is in a serious but stable condition.
“He requires the ventilator to help him breathe and unfortunately his burns are deeper then first expected which will require skin grafts.
“We await new information each day and I will try to update as and when Paul’s condition changes.
“Thank you all for your kind well wishes and support, it really does mean a lot.”
So far more than £3,000 has been raised following more than 200 donations.