UPDATE: EPA statement on crushed car barge fire on Duwamish River
Update 10:40am June 27
The cleanup and environmental impacts of the blaze aboard a crushed car barge at 600 South Myrtle Street in the Duwamish River came front and center today. Overnight cranes moved some of the wreckage off the barge but operations were slow since the fire made so much of what remained highly unstable. During the fire, cars entered the river and runoff from the water and foam applied to stop the fire entered the river in large quantities.
The spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Agency Region 10, Mark MacIntyre released a statement regarding the crushed car barge fire on the Duwamish River on June 26.
"Last night, EPA was made aware of a dangerous barge fire on the Duwamish River in Seattle, to which the Seattle Fire Department and Washington Department of Ecology responded. We immediately contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, the lead federal response authority for that area, and offered air quality monitoring support. We are currently standing by to provide assistance to our local, state or federal response partners during mop-up operations.
If we are asked to look at it more closely by the responding agencies, we will see how we can support further investigation."
Calls into the Washington State Dept. of Ecology have not yet been returned.
Original post 9:55pm June 26
A barge stacked high with crushed cars moored near 600 South Myrtle Street, just adjacent to Seattle Iron & Metals Corporation caught fire Tuesday night shortly after 8pm. Seattle fire units responded on the shore but could not immediately get to the flames as they consumed the south end of the approximately 120 foot long barge.
The flames reached nearly 80 to 90 feet as the fire produced thick black smoke that spread in a toxic cloud south. Ladder units and other firefighters did manage to get water on the fire and kept it from spreading.
One firefighter did suffer minor injuries in the fire.
The Fireboat Leschi had to make its way at a relatively slow speed up the river and finally arrived after 8:30pm and began putting water on the southwest side of the blaze.
Sparks could be seen blowing out of the fire as components in the cars exploded in the heat.
The fire clearly caused heavy damage to the barge and at least two cars went in the river and will have to be dredged out. The environmental damage will also need to be assessed.
The color of the smoke changed as the flames and heat were diminished becoming gray then white and fire was brought down and largely out by roughly 9:30pm. Hot spots remained however.
No immediate cause for the fire was determined and damage estimates will have to wait as fire investigators look at the scene.
Incredible shots. Patrick and Kim Your skill with a lens is amazing.
Wow these photos are incredible! We were watching from the South Park side and have seen many photos posted on FB but these really show how terribly destructive and (I'm assuming) unhealthy it was. Thanks for being there!