Wrangell Sentinel -

Welding caused fire in boatyard mishap


March 30, 2017

Dan Rudy/ Wrangell Sentinel

A fire, sparked inside a boat being worked on at Wrangell's boat yard last week, was apparently caused during welding work, according to the fire department. Just after 5 p.m. on March 21, Wrangell Volunteer Fire Department received reports of smoke billowing up from a Marine Service Center work bay. Employees at Superior Marine Services were busy hosing off the smoldering F/V Bluejacket, a fishing sailboat based out of Port Alexander. Firefighters brought their hoses to the battle within a few minutes, and the fire below the deck appeared to be out. "It looked like they were welding," reported Chief Tim Buness afterward. Heat had apparently ignited insulation used around the fish holds, which later reignited after the first sousing. Further fire-retardant foam was put down, and the last fire truck left by 7:45 p.m. "We were waiting to see what was going on with it," said Buness. There were no injuries reported on scene, though the boat itself was damaged both by the fire and the emergency response. Neither the boat's owner nor Superior Marine responded regarding the extent of damages.

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