The Guyana Fire Service (GFS) yesterday afternoon quickly extinguished a fire on a boat where workers were pumping fuel at the BK International Wharf on Water Street.
Stabroek News understands that the incident occurred just after 4 pm when a section of the boat which belonged to Bharat Bissoo caught fire as workers were pumping fuel to another boat.
When this newspaper arrived on the scene the flames had already been extinguished and both firefighters and police officers had converged.
One man who was present when the incident occurred said he had been asleep a short distance away when he was awakened by a colleague who told him that the boat was on fire. He further noted that once the fire service arrived on the scene they were able to extinguish the flames.
Meanwhile, Compton Sparman, Head of Operations of the GFS, explained that from all indications, the workers were pumping fuel into another vessel using a small pump with gasoline when the exhaust manifold overheated and ignited the fire. This then started to spread to one of the two tanks on the boat.
Regarding the GFS’s response to the fire, Sparman said the fire service received a call around 4.24 pm afternoon alerting them that a vessel was on fire at the BK Wharf.
“We responded immediately with three vehicles from the Central Fire Station and Alberttown Fire Station. When we arrived here the fuel tank for the boat was on fire and we got into operation immediately with water and foam,” he said.
“One fuel tank carries about 136 gallons of diesel and diesel in fire situations takes longer to propagate than gasoline which worked to our advantage and so we used foam to confine it and then the water to complete the extension; What we did was to suppress the fire to make sure it didn’t spread to the other tank,” Sparman added.
Notwithstanding this, Stabroek News understands that the GFS will also undertake a salvage operation where they are going to pump out all of the water to keep the boat float to effect repairs for continued operations.
Apart from the owner of the boat having sustained minor burns to his hands, there were no other reports of injuries caused by the fire.