Crews battle fire on commercial fishing boat in Tacoma most of Thursday
A grueling, but delicate firefight on a 200-foot fishing boat in Tacoma has been mostly wrapped up Friday morning, after crews had been battling the fire since the early hours of Thursday.
As of Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m., the Coast Guard and partner agencies were responding to a still active fire on board a commercial fishing vessel moored in Tacoma. The fire broke out shortly before midnight Thursday aboard the 233-foot Aleutian Falcon at pier 25 in the Port of Tacoma.
Tacoma firefighter Alex Wilsie told KIRO 7 TV that crews had to be careful not to spray too much water on the Aleutian Falcon or the water’s weight could make it capsize.
“If it does go down or roll over, then we’ll definitely have a possibility of a large fuel spill,” Wilsie said.
Crews fought the fire along the pier and from three fire boats. An isolation zone for marine traffic around the vessel was enforced, and Coast Guard pollution responders were on scene by 1 a.m. on Thursday.
Early worries that the boat would capsize or break apart and spill fuel or ammonia have since died down along with the flames. Wilsie explained that the Trident Seafoods boat did have a lot of fuel aboard, as well as ammonia.
“Aleutian Falcon is a fishing vessel, so it has ammonia tanks on it to keep the fish cold,” Wilsie said.
The Coast Guard says an absorbent boom surrounding the ship to mitigate pollution is successfully containing the small amount of fuel that has leaked from the boat.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.
The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.