Fernandina Beach Fire Department
Ty Silcox, Fire Chief
June 27, 2022
At 11:52 p.m. on June 26, 2022, units from the Fernandina Beach Fire Department and Nassau County Fire Rescue were dispatched to report a vessel fire located at 231 N Front Street. The Coast Guard received a distress call from a freighter moored at the Port of Fernandina’s North Terminal wharf, reporting a fire in the ship’s hold.
Upon arrival, firefighters found a six-hundred-foot freighter with thick smoke coming from one of the ship’s five holds. The ship’s crew were attempting to extinguish the fire with fire extinguisher lines on board as the first fire units arrived. It was determined that a fire had started in hold number five loaded with stacks of bundled plywood being unloaded at the port.
Firefighters were unable to enter the cargo hold in an attempt to bring the fire under control, so water jets were applied to the compartment from above with hoses and an aerial apparatus. Due to the unstable nature of the cargo and the unknown location of the fire, firefighters had to continually pour water into the ship’s hold. Firefighters worked to prevent the fire from spreading to other areas of the ship’s compartments.
Thirty-five firefighters battled the blaze until 4:18 a.m. when it was determined the blaze was under control. Firefighters officially extinguished the fire at 6:17 a.m. None of the ship’s crew were injured.
A firefighter was transported to Baptist Medical Center Nassau with a non-life threatening injury. The origin of the fire is unknown and is currently under investigation by the United States Coast Guard Investigations Division. The cause of the fire has not been determined and will take some time due to the condition of the cargo bay.
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