!cflocation url="#BureauURL#">Portland Fire responds to shipboard fire at TEMCO Grain loading dock.
At 3:16 PM Portland Fire & Rescue responded a report..."> Portland Fire responds to shipboard fire at TEMCO Grain loading dock.
At 3:16 PM Portland Fire & Rescue responded a report..." /> Portland Fire responds to shipboard fire at TEMCO Grain loading dock.
At 3:16 PM Portland Fire & Rescue responded a report... ">
January 31, 2023 20:30
Portland Fire responds to shipboard fire at TEMCO Grain loading dock.
At 3:16 PM Portland Fire & Rescue responded a reported shipboard fire at the Temco Grain Loading dock on the east side of the Willamette River near the Broadway Bridge. The 636’ long Liberian flagged ship, Breeze, staffed by 21 Filipinos was docked taking on 38000 metric tons of wheat. The Tagalog speaking crew members are trained in many tasks with some having firefighting as one of their assigned responsibilities aboard the ship.
Shipboard fires present a unique set of circumstances that require lots of manpower along with specialized tools and training to address the situation safely and successfully. The distances from the hydrant along with from the standpipe up three levels of stairs to the entry of the door takes quite a lot of firefighters and effort to make happen. Eleven 4-person land companies and two 4-person boat companies responded to the fire along with 4 chiefs to have over 50 individuals on site to aid in putting a stop to the fire. Much effort was put into establishing a successful water supply from the hydrant to the end of the hose with all the obstacles of working in and around the dock. The 11 land-based crews were used for firefighting efforts while the 2 fire boats were in place for two purposes; to serve as a potential water supply if needed as well as to act as a potential rescue boat should someone accidently step overboard while performing firefighting efforts.
The first arriving companies investigated and discovered a fire in a room on the “bravo” deck of the superstructure of the merchant ship with ship crew members applying water on the fire from an exterior position through a window. Members of PF&R found a translator, got information on the location of the fire, and accounted for all members of the ship’s crew upon arrival.
Hooking up to a hydrant on the outside of the facility and connecting over 1000’ of hose to an engine to then pump water into the standpipe along the dock required a few full companies to accomplish. The attack hose lines had to be transferred across a walkway to eventually connect to the dock standpipe, stretched up the stairs and then filled with water under pressure to allow for a safe interior fire attack. Once completed, fire crews safely entered the level of the fire and extinguished the flames inside of the laundry room of the “habitation area” of the ship.
The Land Based Marine Response Unit of Portland Fire & Rescue specializes in training for these types of events brought along a bevy of specialized tools and knowledge that aided the command staff in what to look out for and provided a necessary radio repeater that allowed the crews to communicate inside the metal ship. The metal construction of the ship interferes with or can eliminate radio transmissions increasing the danger of addressing a fire on the inside of a ship. The repeater assures the crews working of successfully communicating within the ship and to the outside command crew.
With the radio repeater put in place to assure smooth communication and water in the hose line at the doorway to enter the area of the fire, crews were quick to extinguish and remove all debris affected by the flames in what turned out to be a laundry room. It was reported that the metal construction of the ship held in so much of the heat generated from the burning material that water applied to the floor of the room above the level on fire was steaming and bubbling.
The dangers of entering a ship with a fire is a different challenge for firefighting crews as the cut-up construction, narrow hallways and passages, and sudden valve stems and other projections off the wall are very unfamiliar to most responders. Being inside a home that has limited visibility due to smoke is discoverable to most but the landscape of the interior of a ship is very hard to navigate with visibility affected by smoke. On top of the dangers of the cut-up metal construction, much of the flammable infrastructure inside the berth is extremely toxic that added another dimension of concern for the command staff.
There were no reported injuries to either crew members or personnel from PF&R. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Portland Fire & Rescue would like to thank the staff at Temco Grain Loading Dock for providing detailed information about the ship upon arrival and a translator to aid in successfully fighting the fire.