Barge fire in Delaware Bay is finally extinguished

A massive fire onboard a barge in Delaware Bay has been extinguished after burning for approximately 26 hours. It was thought to be the largest firefighting operation in Delaware state history.

Bowers Fire Company Chief Aaron Warren made the announcement on Tuesday May 24th about an hour after Governor John Carney issued a limited State of Emergency for Kent County, which took effect at 14:30 local time on Tuesday.

The US Coast Guard reported Monday that the Delaware Bay Command Centre received a call at approximately 01:00 reporting a barge on fire in the Delaware River. The barge was reportedly carrying household appliances for scrap.

There were 30 organizations and fire companies were involved in the effort to put out the fire, including the USCG and New York City Fire Department, Bowers Fire Co said.

A Unified Command has been established to oversee salvage operations. Northstar Environmental and Marine Services has been contracted to assess the integrity of the vessel and manage salvage operations.

A USCG patrol boat is monitoring the situation and enforcing a 500-yard safety zone around the barge. Vessels are prohibited from entering unless authorized by the Captain of the Port of Delaware Bay.

Northstar Independence (IMO: 9595814) has firefighting capabilities onboard in case the fire reignites.

No sheening or discoloration has been observed on the waterway, the USCG said.

The barge was reported to be the new CMT Y NOT 6, which belongs to Coeymans Marine Towing (CMT), part of Carver Companies. USCG  records show the barge was built in 1998.

The Unified Command consists of representatives from Eastern Metal Recycling, New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, Cumberland County Office of Emergency Management, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the USCG.