A 100-foot vessel from the early seasons of the TV show Deadliest Catch burned for more than an hour along the Ship Canal early this morning.
As we first reported on My Ballard, nearly 100 firefighters battled the three-alarm blaze at a dock along the Queen Anne side, both from the dock and on the water. When fire crews arrived at 1300 W Nickerson St., they discovered the Arctic Dawn engulfed in flames, sending a huge column of smoke across the water into Ballard. The only person on the boat, an engineer, escaped the flames unharmed. There were no reported injuries.
The Seattle Fire Department’s boat along with a vessel from the Seattle Police Department’s Harbor Patrol fought the fire from the water. Divers stood by just in case any firefighters fell in the Ship Canal.
A huge contingent of firefighters approached the fire from the dock, boarding the Lady Kodiak to gain access to the Arctic Dawn, which was docked right alongside. Fire crews were able to keep the flames from spreading.
The fire sent a huge column of smoke across the Ship Canal, blowing it into East Ballard (you can barely see Fred Meyer in the background). My Ballard tipster Silver was on the Ballard side of the Ship Canal near the Fred Meyer when the fire broke out. She says the air was thick with smoke, like a heavy fog. We smelled smoke in the air as far north as 70th St.
The Arctic Dawn was featured in parts of seasons two and three of the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. We spoke with the boat’s skipper while he and his engineer watched the fire burn. “We just got back from Alaska on the 7th,” he said. “All our stuff, our personal effects are still on board.” He said he didn’t know the cause of the fire, and it’s too early to estimate the damage.
“Any ship fire is difficult,” said Seattle Fire PIO Dana VanderHouwen. “We ran extensively long hose lines to get out to the vessel.” The fire was dispatched at 1:53 a.m. and was officially put out at 3 a.m., although firefighters are remaining behind to watch for hot spots. We updated the story throughout the morning here online and on Twitter — in our nearly three years of covering news in Ballard, it was the largest fire dispatch we’ve seen.
The Department of Ecology responded to keep an eye out for oil — none has been spotted — as well as biodegradable foam, which was used to fight the fire. Firefighters say it doesn’t appear the vessel is listing at all. The cause of the fire is under investigation. (Thanks Silver for your help!)