Man caught in beachside apartment explosion dies

VERO BEACH — John DiMarco, who had been battling for his life after trying to help a friend ignite a pilot light that resulted in a massive beachside explosion and fire, died Monday night.

DiMarco was flown to the Orlando Regional Medical Center after the Jan. 14 explosion rocked the Sun and Sand apartments with burns over most of his body. He was said to have been in and out of a coma and had members of his family with him when he passed away. The investigation into the cause of the blast is ongoing, but investigators say the evidence thus far points to an issue with propane gas and the pilot light.

Also flown to Orlando Medical Center was 30-year-old Luciana Coto, reportedly with second degree burns to her upper body. She is said to be listed in critical condition.

Coto lived in the apartment with her boyfriend, 29-year-old Justin Ryan Hamilton who was treated and released from Indian River Medical Center the night of the explosion.

Eric Moon, who worked with DiMarco at Maison Martinique, said friends planned to gather for a memorial this Sunday at the beach near where DiMarco lived.

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