Firefighters hurt in explosion while fighting cargo ship fire at Blount Island

Jacksonville, FL — NIne Jacksonville firefighters were hospitalized following a fire and explosion on board a cargo ship at Blount Island. JFRD has said this is an auto hauler with more than 2,000 salvaged and wrecked vehicles on board.

Around 150 JFRD personnel were working on this fire, according to the fire department. Crews began fight the fire around 4 p.m. on Thursday.  JFRD said crews are working to save the integrity of the outside of the cargo ship to help contain any pollution from getting into the ocean.

“The ones that obviously went to Gainesville to the burn unit down there, they’re gonna have a long road ahead of them. They had some significant burns, especially couple of them really bad in their hand area which is extremely difficult to heal from because of the movement and the dexterity in the hand”, Fire Chief Keith Powers told Jacksonville’s Morning News on Friday.

nThe Coast Guard brought marine firefighters to help with this cargo ship fire, JFRD said.  The fire department said the ship was being loaded with cars to be shipped out. Records show the ship was built in 2010 and sails under the flag of Norway. The cargo ship was last ported in Freeport, Texas.

The U.S. Coast Guard says all 21 crew members were able to get safely off the cargo ship.

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