Fernandina Beach Fire Department
Ty Silcox, Fire Chief
June 27, 2022
At 11:52 PM on June 26, 2022, units from the Fernandina Beach Fire Department and Nassau County Fire Rescue were dispatched to the report of a ship fire located at 231 N Front Street. The Coast Guard received a distress call from a cargo ship that was docked at the Port of Fernandina’s north terminal pier, reporting a fire in the cargo hold of the vessel.
Upon arrival, firefighters found a six-hundred-foot cargo ship with heavy smoke coming from one of the ship’s five cargo holds. The ship’s crew was attempting to extinguish the fire with onboard fire suppression lines upon the arrival of the first fire units. It was determined that a fire had started within the number five cargo hold loaded with stacks of bundled plywood being unloaded at the port.
Firefighters could not enter the cargo hold to attempt to bring the fire under control, so water streams were applied to the compartment from above with hose lines and an aerial apparatus. Due to the unstable nature of the cargo and the unknown location of the fire, firefighters had to flow water into the ship’s cargo compartment continually. Firefighters worked to keep the fire from spreading to other areas of the ship’s compartments.
Thirty-five firefighters battled the fire until 4:18 AM when the fire was determined to be under control. Firefighters officially called the fire out at 6:17 AM. There were no reported injuries to the ship’s crew.
One firefighter was transported to Baptist Medical Center Nassau with a non-life-threatening injury. The fire’s origin is unknown and is currently under investigation by the United States Coast Guard Investigations Division. The cause of the fire has not been determined and will take some time due to the condition of the cargo hold.