Emergency services continue to respond to a fire on board a ship docked at the Port of Portland
On Tuesday night, CFA crews on board discovered that the starboard side of the fodder storage silo on the back of the vessel was on fire and spreading to the rest of the storage area.
Incident Controller Mark Gunning from CFA said, “The unloading of the 800 tonnes of pelletised fodder commenced around 1pm Saturday into waiting trucks. We are continuing this process and are making good progress to unload the pellets. Fire suppression activities over the last few days to bring the fire under control and lower the temperature within the silo to a safe level has allowed for this unloading procedure to occur.”
Suppression activities included the injection of an inert gas (Nitrogen) into the sealed silo in an attempt to remove the oxygen within the silo. This method has been successful in reducing the temperature within the silo.
Crews will still monitor for any hot spots in each aspect of the unloading as well as air quality monitoring around the site. Once the pellets have been unloaded, they will then be transported off site to an approved holding facility.
Once unloaded at the holding facility crews will continue to monitor the fodder for heat.
The ship has been relocated from No 5 Berth to No 1 Berth overnight, still located within the Dock Basin to allow normal port berthing operations to continue and easier access for firefighters.
The Port of Portland operations have not been affected by the fire on board the ship and business continues as normal.
Emergency services continue to ask that people avoid the area.
Author: Brendan Gordon