Ship fire contained at the Port of Anchorage

A fire aboard the Hong Kong-flagged tanker Atlantic Lily has been contained at the Port of Anchorage, located in Alaska’s largest city.

The fire aboard the 600-foot ship started at about 2200 on Friday, Nov. 18, as the ship discharged a load of jet fuel at a fuel terminal. It was followed by a blast from the ship’s stack and a flare from its exhaust stack, according to a statement from the city of Anchorage.

The Port of Anchorage, looking south toward downtown Anchorage. Port of Alaska image

Nobody was hurt and there was no pollution, but the flames were visible for miles around. Fuel transfer operations ceased once the flames were discovered.

“It was determined that an issue with the vessel’s auxiliary boiler caused an improper fuel-to-air mixture, igniting a buildup of soot in the exhaust stack which resulted in a loud boom and flames,” the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement.

Atlantic Lily crewmembers extinguished the flames using fire hoses, the Coast Guard said.

Atlantic Lily was in port to discharge 300,000-bbl of Jet A-1 fuel for use at Ted Stevens International Airport, one of the busiest cargo hubs in the world. Fuel discharge continued after the fire was extinguished. City officials said the boiler would not be restarted until cargo operations were complete.

Cargo activities at an adjacent fuel terminal were briefly halted on Friday night after the fire started. Port officials said disruption from the incident was limited.

Personnel aboard Atlantic Lily hope to complete repairs and testing and to get Coast Guard approval to depart late Sunday morning or early afternoon.

Additional details on the incident were not immediately available.

By Casey Conley