The St. Clair is a ship that’s been traveling the Great Lakes since 1975 delivering a range of cargo to various ports of call.
Saturday night, a spectacular fire destroyed a portion of the St. Clair as she rested in her slip. She’s was wintering in Oregon at the CSX Toledo Docks for refurbishing.
No cause of the fire has been determined so far.
Fire Under Control
On Sunday, the fire was under control but not out. Two ladder trucks remained at the scene cooling off hot spots.
“Nobody can think of a fire of this magnitude in the city of Oregon,” said interim fire chief Dennis Hartman.
Two conveyor belts on the ship caught fire, burned and melted.
Fighting the Fire
Work was being done on the St. Clair earlier but not hot work such as welding.
“Just think of two tire piles—big tire piles—basically same kind of thing: rubber. That’s on fire under the vessel. We just can’t get to that,” Hartman said.
It was a tough fire to battle. Only one in four fire hydrants on the dock worked.
Tanker trucks from 15 area departments were dispatched to a hydrant on Bay Shore Road.
“Those tanker trucks would come out here. We had an engine out there that would fill them, bring them back,” Hartman said.
Fire Continue to Burn the Ship
The future of the St. Clair is uncertain. Parts of her superstructure have been destroyed such as the pilot’s deck and the captain and crew living quarters.
Hartman says the fire could continue to burn for several days.
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