Fire & Hazmat Crews Respond to Fire on Container Ship

March 1, 2006

Elizabeth, NJ, Jan. 13, 2006 - At 2:31 P.M., Elizabeth Fire Dispatch transmitted Box 6833 for a reported fire on a container ship, the Horizon Hawaii, at Sealand Marine Terminal Berth 96. Port Elizabeth is one of the largest shipping ports in the world. A container on the ship's starboard side had become jammed and the crew used a torch to try to dislodge it, accidentally setting fire to insulation in the ship's wall some 40 feet below the deck.

Due to the many different containers and materials carried on such ships, Deputy Chief Thomas McNamara asked the ship's crew for a shipping manifest for the containers in the area of the fire. It was learned that the only container with any hazardous material was directly in the area of the fire. At 3 o'clock, a full second alarm was requested with additional foam pumpers and the Union County Hazmat Team to the scene. To extinguish the fire, Elizabeth firefighters had to remove the jammed container. Using cribbing and airbags and the dockside crane, the container was removed and the fire was brought under control.

-Gary Haszko,
Rescue 1, Elizabeth FD

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