Inspection leads to boat blaze at Honolulu Harbor
The fishing vessel St. Peter caught fire, sending a black cloud of smoke that could be seen from miles away.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel Thursday were inspecting a fishing boat at Pier 16 when a neglected stove apparently caught fire, leading to a spectacular blaze.
Honolulu firefighters, with the help of a tugboat crew, managed to bring the fire aboard the St. Peter under control in an hour and 20 minutes, and extinguished it in two hours.
At 2:11 p.m. the U.S. Coast Guard said that “the vessel appears to be stable.”
During their inspection, U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel “asked the crew to muster on the pier when a stove burner was reportedly left on in the galley, presumably causing the fire,” the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard received a report from Harbor Patrol at 1:30 p.m. that the St. Peter commercial fishing vessel was on fire at Pier 16.
No injuries were reported, authorities said.
However, crew members are unable to live aboard the American-flagged vessel, so they were relocated to sister ships in the same fleet, which had extra room and were moored in the harbor, the Coast Guard said.
The Honolulu Fire Department responded at 1:29 p.m., sending 11 units and 41 personnel to the boat fire at 303 N. Nimitz Highway.
The first unit arrived to find thick black smoke spewing from the left side of the 40-foot vessel.
HFD personnel established a command and secured a water source, an HFD news release said.
They managed to suppress the flames and prevent the fire from spreading to other vessels, HFD spokesman Capt. Scot Seguirant said in the release.
The crew of the tugboat, Tug Freedom, assisted by using its firefighting turret on the blaze, HFD and the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard Station Honolulu launched a 45-foot response boat crew to the scene, and the Coast Guard issued a marine safety information broadcast.
Two pollution responders were sent to assess the scene, the Coast Guard said.
The St. Peter has a maximum capacity of 8,000 gallons of diesel, 50 gallons of lube oil and three marine batteries, according to the Coast Guard, which said there were no reports of pollution.