A fire that happened aboard Trident Seafoods’ f/v Kodiak Enterprise in Tacoma, Wash. is under investigation, as the Tacoma Fire Department continues its efforts to extinguish the entire blaze.
U.S. Coast Guard officials said Monday, April 10 that they were using a cool spray for the fire onboard and that the waterway to that area of the Port of Tacoma remained closed.
The Coast Guard also said that no injuries have been reported to crew of the Kodiak Enterprise or to those battling the blaze, which was located toward the bow of the 278-foot catcher processor vessel and was moving throughout the ship.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The incident began at about 3 a.m. April 8, when a security guard reported smoke about the fishing vessel, which had recently returned from Alaska and was docked in Tacoma for maintenance.
On April 9, the Coast Guard said that the fire had progressed throughout the ship and had reached to within about 100 feet of the vessel’s freon refrigerant tanks. The vessel has about 19,000 pounds of freon onboard and heat from the fire could cause pressure to build in the freon tanks, which have heat-activated pressure relief valves designed to vent the contents if necessary.
Coast Guard officials said that while freon can be toxic if inhaled in large quantities, the release of freon into the atmosphere is not expected to pose a risk to the public.
Trident Seafoods Chief Executive Officer Joe Bundrant said he appreciated the effort of everyone who responded during Easter weekend to mitigate potential impacts of the fire to people and the environment. He also said his company would investigate to determine the fire’s cause.
“We will begin communicating with stakeholders, redeploying the Kodiak Enterprise crew to other vessel land shore-based operations, and mitigating the impact on 2023 fishing operations and supply,” he stated.
A unified command set up to respond to the fire, including the Tacoma Fire Department, the Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency and Washington Department of Ecology, was continuing efforts to extinguish the fire and determine what caused it as the vessel was moored at Trident Seafoods facilities in the Hylebos Waterway in Tacoma.
The Kodiak Enterprise, built as a factory trawler in 1977, was converted into a fishing vessel in 1989. She returned from her most recent Bering Sea fishing voyage on March 25.
Trident Seafoods, which is privately held, is the largest vertically integrated seafood harvesting and processing company in North America. The company, which employs 9,000 people worldwide and partners with over 5,400 independent fishermen and crewmembers, has global operations in six counties and serves customers in over 50 countries worldwide.