NTSB finds faulty wiring likeliest cause of $4m blaze on Great Lakes bulker last year
A fire that badly damaged a Great Lakes cargo steamship in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin late last year was probably caused by faulty wiring on the vessel a US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report has found. The report says that on December 11, 2015 around 5.40pm local time, a fire broke out in the electrical control room for the aft winches of the freighter Alpena while it was in drydock at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding having work done on it. Workers evacuated the bulker and summoned the fire services. The blaze was extinguished and nobody was hurt but $4m worth of damage was inflicted. The NTSB report concludes that a fault in the electrical wiring providing power to the aft anchor winch was the likeliest source of ignition as it lacked the extensive circuit protection common to electrical systems on more modern ships. NTSB reached its conclusion based on investigations by the US Coast Guard (USCG) and the Sturgeon Bay fire department. Repairs and modifications to the Alpena have included additional circuit protection. The ship resumed sailing this year. It is operated by Inland Lakes Management Inc. Its routes include all five of the Great Lakes and its cargo is usually cement.
Four injured persones released from hospital - ship severely damaged
After two firefighters and two workers had been sent to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation after the fire on the "Alpena", all have been released from the hospital in the night of Dec 11 or the morning of Dec 12. Among them were one firefighter from Sturgeon Bay, another from Southern Door Fire Department and two Bay Shipbuilding workers. The firefighters also were treated for dehydration. Many other firefighters were treated at the scene for dehydration. On the whole 85 fire fighters from the Southern Door, Jacksonport, Baileys Harbor, Ephraim, Baileys Harbor, Ephraim, Sister Bay/Liberty Grove, Egg Harbor and Brussels-Union-Gardnerhad had responded to the blaze. Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Herlache and Assistant Fire Chief Tim Dietman met with representatives of Bay Ship and Andrie Inc., the owners of the "Alpena", on Dec 12 to go through the area damaged by the fire which was not believed to have been intentional. It was now be up to Andrie Inc. and its insurance company to decide if the ship can be repaired. The most extensive damage was found near the electrical control area, the steering gear room, and a storage room/paint locker near the stern of the ship. The dining room and the galley sustained excessive damage” and the ship’s stateroom was gutted. The area of the gray water tank where Bay Ship was doing hot work did not appear to have any direct relation to the incident. Report woth photo: http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/local/door-co/news/2015/12/12/cause-alpena-fire-remains-unknown/77209568/
Bulker heavily damaged by fire
In the evening of Dec 11, 2015, a fire broke out in the superstructure of the "Alpena". She was docked at the Bay Shipbuilding Co. in Sturgeon Bay for the scheduled five-year inspection sinc Dec 5. Firefighters were called at 6 p.m. First units on scene reported heavy smoke coming from the stern of the vessel. The fire was three decks down near the aft of the ship and just above the engine room. The fire did not extend into the cargo holds. At least 100 firefighters from nine fire departments all across Door County were at the Scene. They used water to put out the fire and used an aerial truck to get water up onto the ship. The ship’s cafeteria and some staterooms belonged to the areas damaged by the blaze. The investigation into the cause will begin once the fire was extinguished and the interior was ventilated. Firefighters remained on scene overnight and vacated the scene early next morning. Reports with photos and videos: http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/local/door-co/news/2015/12/11/fire-bay-shipbuilding-co-sturgeon-bay/77181290/ http://www.wearegreenbay.com/news/local-news/fire-at-bay-shipbuilding-in-sturgeon-bay http://fox11online.com/news/local/crews-battling-fire-at-bay-shipbuilding-in-sturgeon-bay http://www.doorcountydailynews.com/news/details.cfm?clientid=28&id=199738#.VmwRUDZIjIU http://wbay.com/2015/12/11/fire-breaks-out-at-bay-shipbuilding/Upload News