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Update: More than 40 firefighters tackled cargo ship blaze at Cliff Quay, Ipswich

09:36 11 December 2012

The Accum cargo boat which caught fire in Ipswich Dock.

The Accum cargo boat which caught fire in Ipswich Dock.

Archant

MORE than 40 firefighters battled a blaze on board a cargo ship at Ipswich docks.

The fire broke out on the lower deck of Accum at Cliff Quay at around 3.30pm on Monday.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service initially scrambled five fire crews to the scene, including engines from Princes Street, Ipswich; Ipswich East; and Holbrook.

But fire chiefs later increased this to eight, drafting in two further crews from Ipswich East and another from Needham Market.

Dave Pedersen, group commander at Ipswich East, said the fire covered a four-metre square area on the lower deck.

He said sparks from some welding being carried out on the middle deck dropped down and sparked a fire in some wooden crates.

He added: “The access for the crews was incredibly difficult, which made working conditions very treacherous.”

The fire was put out by around 5.30pm.

Mr Pedersen said crews were helped by the ship’s on-board firefighting system, which flooded the decks with carbon dioxide.

He also paid tribute to ship surveyor Peter King, from Felixstowe-based Seden Clarke, whose “invaluable professional and technical advice” helped firefighters quickly locate the fire.

The 2,415-tonne cargo ship, which had around 100 vehicles on board including cars, vans, diggers and lorry tractor units, was due to set sail for Cyprus today.

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