Firefighter injured in fire aboard ship docked at New Orleans Bywater wharf

New Orleans firefighters were forced to remove gear and crawl one by one through a small access space to reach the fire


Laura McKnight
NOLA Media Group, New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans firefighter and two contract workers suffered smoke inhalation in a two-alarm blaze aboard a ship docked on the Mississippi River Friday (May 31), according to fire officials.

The fire, likely sparked by welding work, began about 4:22 p.m. on the Cape Knox, a Merchant Marine ship docked at the Poland Avenue Wharf in the Bywater.

More than 40 firefighters in 16 fire vehicles brought the blaze under control. (Photo/ New Orleans Fire Department)
More than 40 firefighters in 16 fire vehicles brought the blaze under control. (Photo/ New Orleans Fire Department)

Firefighters arrived within five minutes to find a “smoldering fire” below deck, inside a roughly 100-square-foot container filled with diesel fuel sludge near the ship’s engine room, according to the New Orleans Fire Department.

Firefighters requested a second alarm at 5:03 p.m. as they experienced “extreme difficulty” in reaching the blaze, NOFD officials said. Firefighters were forced to remove gear and crawl one by one through a small access space to reach the fire—and once there, had just minutes to work before their air tanks were depleted.

More than 40 firefighters in 16 fire vehicles brought the blaze under control by 7 p.m., the NOFD said in a news release.

The injured firefighter was taken to a local hospital for observation. The two contractors, injured while trying to extinguish the fire before the NOFD arrived, were treated at the scene by paramedics.

 

05/31/2019. 2nd. Alarm Fire. Poland St Wharf. Ship Fire. Chief C Mickal , NOFD Photo Unit.

Posted by New Orleans Fire Department on Friday, May 31, 2019

Laura McKnight covers crime and breaking news for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.

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©2019 NOLA Media Group, New Orleans

 

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