Spontaneous combustion blamed for vessel fire in West Seattle

WEST SEATTLE – A barge carrying shipping containers ignited into flames Monday afternoon. Half of Seattle’s fire department responded to the vessel fire on the Duwamish River around 3:30pm. The blaze was said to be fully contained by 7:00pm.

Firefighters said the containers contained garbage, petroleum, old propane tanks and diesel fuel. They believe the fire started in one of the garbage containers aboard the barge. They told Q13 News spontaneous combustion of garbage is the cause of the fire, which was then fueled by tires on the barge.

A hazmat team was called to the scene. The Coast Guard assisted in putting the fire out and protecting the chemicals from going into the Duwamish River.

The Department of Ecology is now investigating any environmental impacts of the firefighting efforts on the river. They told Q13 News they will be conducting surveys by boat Tuesday morning, looking for signs of contamination.

More than 100 firefighters fought the fire. There are no reports of any injuries.