8 Florida firefighters injured in explosion at shipboard fire
Jacksonville firefighters suffered burn injuries during fire attack operations at a cargo ship fire
By Janelle Foskett
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Eight Jacksonville Fire and Rescue firefighters were injured in an explosion during fire attack operations on a cargo ship at Blount Island. A ninth firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion prior to the blast, the department reported.
Fire Chief Keith Powers said all eight firefighters were in stable condition. Four were transported to a local burn unit. One firefighter is in surgery and another is in the intensive care unit.
“It’s a tough situation and very dangerous – that’s one of the most dangerous situations firefighters encounter is when they’re in a ship fire," Powers said.
Randy Wyse, president of the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters, added: “Keep them in your prayers. It’s extremely difficult to see these firefighters with the severe injuries that they have.”
Powers said the fire started on the seventh deck of the 15-level cargo ship, which was loaded with approximately 2,400 salvage vehicles.
Approximately 150 JFRD personnel have responded to fight the blaze, and firefighters were expected to remain there overnight, with the goal to maintain the structural integrity of the vessel. Three fireboats are also still actively engaged in the firefight.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
There has been an explosion on the ship... firefighters are hurt... this od now an MCI level I— MyJFRD (@JFRDJAX) June 4, 2020
Pray not only for the firefighters hurt and their families, but for all the other firefighters who treated them and stood beside them fighting this fire, and for all who risk their lives daily... pic.twitter.com/kePSFpvBef— MyJFRD (@JFRDJAX) June 5, 2020