The Coast Guard and partner agencies respond to an active fire Feb. 18, 2021, aboard a commercial fishing vessel moored in Tacoma. Tacoma Fire Department photo

Commercial Fishing Vessel Burning at Tacoma, Washington Pier

Mike Schuler
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February 19, 2021

A fire continues to burn on board a 225-foot fishing vessel docked at the Port of Tacoma in Washington as multiple agencies including the Coast Guard continue to respond to the incident.

The fire broke out just before midnight on Wednesday on board the commercial fishing vessel Aleutian Falcon at the Port of Tacoma’s pier 25. Crews initially fought the fire both the pier and and three fire boats, while a commercial tug moved a neighboring vessel to avoid damage.

Tacoma Fire Department said the vessel began to list after using water to battle the flames. Crews have been working since Thursday on dewatering the vessel to prevent it from sinking at the pier.

Right now the fire is contained to the Aleutian Falcon, but the Port of Tacoma reports that the fire continues to burn with noticeable smoke and infrared camera imaging showing a number of hot spots toward the forward end of the vessel.

A salvage team is expected gain access to the vessel later today in order to determine next steps. So far, no oil has been observed in the water and there is no indication that the fuel tanks have been compromised.

The Coast Guard also reports that there is no indication that the ammonia or chlorine tanks on board have been compromised. Air monitoring has been ongoing and will continue today, showing total particulates at levels that allowed the Coast Guard to lift a 1,500-yard safety zone as planned overnight.

A unified command has been established consisting of the Tacoma Fire Department, the Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington Department of Ecology.

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