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Crews working on ship in Tampa channel smell smoke, call 911 before evacuating

Investigators determined the cause of the fire came from welding, Tampa Fire Rescue reports.
Credit: Tampa Fire Rescue

TAMPA, Fla. — Crews on a ship were evacuated after a fire erupted within the vessel early Friday morning, Tampa Fire Rescue said.

At around 5:30 a.m., firefighters responded to a reported ship fire located at 1616 Penny St., which is the address for International Ship Repair & Marine Services Inc., according to a news release.

Engine 4 was first on the scene of a vessel called "The Kelly Alafia," which is overseen by Savage Marine Services. The ship was at berth and undergoing repairs.

Fire rescue says crews were cleaning an area inside the cargo hold when oncoming crew smelled smoke during a shift change. After smelling the smoke within the hull, they called 911.

Ship staff and the marine chemist on scene were able to identify a byproduct of residual sulfur the barge transports caught on fire, according to fire rescue. The fire then became a hazardous materials operation because of a chemical product being burnt.

Investigators reportedly determined the cause of the fire came from welding.

All crew members were able to evacuate the ship, fire leaders report.

There have been no reported injuries to residents, but one firefighter was transported to the hospital for minor injuries.

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