NEW ORLEANS — A firefighter is recovering Friday after crews were forced to remove protective gear to fit through the halls of a docked ship and put out a fire near its engine room, NOFD officials said.
More than 40 firefighters were on the scene Friday afternoon to contain a 2-alarm fire that broke out below the deck of a Merchant Marine ship docked at the Poland Avenue Wharf.
According to initial NOFD reports, the department got the call about a fire aboard the 100-foot container ship, named the Cape Knox, around 4:20 p.m.
When the first crews arrived, they learned the ship was carrying flammable diesel fuel sludge, and that a smoldering fire had broken out near its engine room.
A second alarm was ordered around 5 p.m., as firefighters realized they would have to shed some of their gear and work in 1-minute shifts to go through the smoking ship and put out the flames, officials said.
After more than two hours on board the Cape Knox, fire officials deemed the situation under control around 7 p.m.
One firefighter was taken to the hospital to treat injuries from smoke inhalation, officials said.
Investigators said they believe the fire started from contractors on the ship using welding tools that sparked a flame. Two of those contractors, who attempted to put out the fire as it began, were treated on the scene.
No other injuries were reported.