Great Lakes Freighter St. Clair Catches Fire

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Press Release) — The Coast Guard is conducting pollution assessment of the Maumee River following a fire on board the St. Clair vessel at the CSX Torco terminal in Oregon, Ohio in the Port of Toledo, Saturday.

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Detroit Command Center were notified of the fire about 9: 30 p.m. by members of Coast Guard Station Toledo. The Coast Guard responded along with fire fighters from eight local fire departments.

The external fire is currently under control. Preventative measures continue on adjacent ships using water-cooling techniques.

A helicopter crew and a pollution responder, aboard a helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, conducted an aerial observation of the area at first light Sunday and determined there was no pollution in the Maumee River.

Senior leaders from Coast Guard Sector Detroit assisted in the Incident Command Post that was established by Oregon Fire Department. Pollution Responders from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Toledo were also sent to the scene to observe and assess the situation for any signs of pollution on the river, and remain on scene.

The fire was located on the stern of the St. Clair, a 762-foot vessel moored in the Port of Toledo for winter season repairs. No one was aboard, and there was no cargo on the vessel at the time of the fire.

The fire was combatted mostly with water from water tank trucks. Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) was also used overnight and will be cleaned up by vacuum trucks.

The American Steamship Company, owners of the vessel, has contacted the National Response Corporation. The NRC has contracted Marine Pollution Control to be on scene and prepared to respond to any possible pollution. The current priority is to mitigate any environmental damage and to prevent any pollution.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has conducted air quality tests in the vicinity of the ship and the air is clear of pollution.

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