UPDATE AT 3:35 P.M.: A Seattle Fire Department investigator has determined the fire was accidental and was caused by welding operations. Because the ship is set to be scrapped, the damage estimate is just $100.
UPDATE AT 12:02 P.M.: Seattle firefighters have put out the blaze. Investigators will now look into the cause.
ORIGINAL POST: Seattle firefighters and marine response hazardous materials teams are using CO2 to battle a smoldering fire that started on a 215-foot research vessel at the NOAA Western Regional Center on Sand Point Way.
Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said there have not been any reported injuries and that the fire has been contained within the storage locker below deck where it started. He said the fire had not spread to any areas on the vessel that contain hazardous materials, such as paint and paint thinner.
Moore said the fire aboard the Miller Freeman, which was decommissioned in March, was reported shortly after 9 a.m.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but the Fire Department was told there had been some welding activity in the storage room on Friday.
The storage room was sealed and firefighters are pumping CO2 inside
“We are going to smother the fire and keep monitoring the situation,” said Moore. He said it would likely be Monday afternoon before the cause of the fire would be investigated.
“There was rather a large response from the Seattle Fire Department,” said NOAA spokesman Brian Gorman. But as the Fire Department said, “We’d rather have too many people than too few when it comes to a marine response.”