SEATTLE — The Tacoma Fire Department, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Washington Department of Ecology and other agencies responded to the fishing vessel Kodiak Enterprise that caught fire early Saturday morning while moored at Trident Seafoods in the Hylebos Waterway in Tacoma, Washington.
The fire progressed throughout the ship and was last reported approximately 100 feet from the vessel’s freon tanks.
The vessel was reported to have an estimated 55,000 gallons of diesel and 19,000 pounds of freon onboard. The heat from the fire can cause pressure to build in the freon tanks. The freon tanks are designed with built-in heat-activated pressure relief valves which are designed to release the freon tanks’ pressure in an emergency situation. While freon can be toxic if inhaled in large quantities or in a confined space, the release of freon into the atmosphere is not expected to pose any health and safety risks to the public.
As a precautionary measure, the EPA has been conducting air monitoring to assess air quality in the surrounding areas. They are being augmented by contractors from CTEH to further refine air monitoring capabilities.
To ensure the safety of the public, the Tacoma Fire Department in coordination with the Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology issued a temporary shelter in place order for NE Tacoma, Browns Point and Dash Point neighborhoods. In addition, the Coast Guard closed the Hylebos Waterway for commercial and recreational vessel traffic via a Vessel Traffic Service special measure. The Coast Guard deployed the Coast Guard Cutter Osprey and Station Seattle to enforce the closure.
“The safety of the public and responders is our top priority,” said Coast Guard Capt. Youngmee Moon, the Federal On Scene Coordinator. “The unified command is working closely to leverage each agency’s capabilities to respond to this incident as effectively as possible and keep the public safe.”
Responders fought the fire by providing cooling spray to the exterior of the vessel. There are no reported signs of maritime pollution. As a preventive measure, responders have deployed 3 layers of containment boom around the vessel to protect the marine environment. As a precautionary measure the unified command has deployed 3 skimmers and 3 boom boats.
The cause of the incident is under investigation. Additional updates will be released as they become available.
“We want to thank everyone for their prompt response and support,” said Joe Bundrant, CEO of Trident Seafoods. “This has been a challenging containment issue and we appreciate the ongoing efforts over this Easter weekend.”