• Magnuson Park ship fire causes large hazmat response, only $100 in damage


    SEATTLE - A fire late Monday morning on a 200-foot government ship on Lake Washington brought firefighters to Magnuson Park in Seattle.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship Miller Freeman is a fisheries oceanography vessel that worked predominantly in the Bering Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. It is now decommissioned.

    The fire broke out in a machine shop on the vessel at the NOAA facility on Sandpoint Way. There were concerns that hazardous chemicals might be spewing into the air.

    A 911 caller reported paints, paint thinners and acids on board the vessel.

    About 100 firefighters responded, including the Hazardous Material Team. The flames were contained to a 15-foot by 50-foot by 5-foot compartment in the aft of the ship and were not near any hazardous materials.

    Firefighters sealed off the storage compartment and pumped carbon dioxide into the chamber to deprive the fire of oxygen and effectively smother it.

    It took two-and-a-half hours to completely extinguish the flames.

    A fire investigator determined the fire was accidental and was caused by welding operations.

    The fire burned tarps and other combustibles. However, because the ship is set to be scrapped, the cost of the damage was estimated to be just $100.

    No one on the vessel was hurt.

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