Report: Reflector lamp caused cargo hold fire
Heat radiating from an incandescent reflector lamp has been found as the cause of a cargo hold fire on the "Kokopo Chief", which was loading a cargo of containers and general cargo at Port of Tauranga on sep 23, 2017, says a report released by Transport Accident Investigation Commission. The number 4 cargo hold was completed with tiers of packaged timber, after which the hatch lid was closed and containers loaded on top. Cargo operations were completed by about 11.30 p.m. and the crew stood down to rest before the vessel’s departure, which was scheduled for early the next morning. Shortly before midnight, the ship’s smoke-detection system alarmed, alerting the crew to a fire that had broken out in number 4 cargo hold. The crew response to the fire included activating the ship’s fixed carbon dioxide fire-extinguishing system, which involved sealing the cargo hold and releasing liquid CO2 into the cargo hold. The master alerted harbour control, which called the local fire service, responded and combined with the ship’s crew to form a joint fire command team and a fire control team. The fire control team monitored the temperatures of the steel surfaces around the cargo hold, which indicated that the fire was being suppressed by the CO2 gas in the hold. A decision was made to unload the containers on top of the hatch and partially open one of the lids. However, smoke was emitted from under the hatch lid, so it was replaced and any remaining bottles of liquid CO2 were released into the cargo hold. After several hours the temperatures had decreased, so the hatch lid was removed. There were no obvious signs of fire, so the timber packs were unloaded and any remaining hot spots attended to. The TAIC found that the fire was caused by heat radiating from an incandescent reflector lamp that set fire to packs of timber that had been stowed close to the lamp. The cargo hold lights had not been switched off on completion of loading. The Commission also found that the ship’s fixed CO2 fire-extinguishing system was effective, but that the fire could have been extinguished sooner if the hatch had not been opened earlier. The Commission also found that the response to the fire was well co-ordinated, but identified the following safety issues: - the operator’s safety management system had not fully mitigated the risk of fire caused by cargo hold lighting, in spite of an earlier incident involving similar circumstances - the responsibilities of the various authorities involved in responding to the fire were not clearly documented and understood by all parties - the Fire and Emergency New Zealand training standards did not fully cover the special considerations for responding to shipboard fires. The operator has taken a number of safety actions to address the first safety issue, while the Commission has made two recommendations to Fire and Emergency New Zealand to address the other safety issues. The Commission also made recommendations to the International Association of Classification Societies and the International Group of P&I Clubs to disseminate the lessons learned from this accident to the global shipping fleet. Report with photo: https://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/192425-heat-from-lamp-sparks-cargo-hold-fire.html
Fire in timber cargo out
The fire aboard the "Kokopo Chief" in Tauranga was extinguished, and burnt timber was being removed from the ship's cargo hold. The Fire and Emergency NZ was called to the fire on Sep 24 about 1 a.m. 16 fire trucks and more than 70 firefighters attended. Dressed timber was stacked 30 meters high in a hold of the ship. When firefighters opened the hold, the fire was out and only the top layer of the timber was burnt. Firefighters were working with stevedores to remove the burnt timber now. A fire investigator was at the scene, and it appeared the ship's CO2 suppression had worked. Fire and Emergency NZ had scaled down operations, with just two trucks remaining at the scene by afternoon.
Major fire aboard ship in Tauranga
On Sep 24, 2017, at 1 a.m. a fire broke out in a hold the "Kokopo Chief", which was moored in Tauranga, and was escalating after high temperatures set off an alarm. 70 firefighters and nine fire engines were were attending the fire, which was not affecting two of the ship's holds. The ship's CO2 suppression system has been activated. The fire rescue wcalled additional fire crews in from as far away at Rotorua. The ship was carrying 650 tonnes of dressed timber. Firefighters in breathing apparatus were working to enter an adjacent ship to investigate "heat transfer".Upload News