Today in fire history: fire on cruise ship injures 60

Blog Post created by ryan.quinn Employee on Jul 20, 2011


!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538fbf38ab970b-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538fbf38ab970b-120wi|alt=Cruise-Ship-Fire|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Cruise-Ship-Fire|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538fbf38ab970b! On July 20, 1998, a fire occurred on the passenger cruise ship "Ecstasy".  The fire began when maintenance personnel were repairing a pressing and folding machine in a laundry area. An arc from a welding rod ignited combustible lint in and around the machine. Soon, smoke spread to the decks above and below the laundry area. 

The fire grew in intensity, and eventually smoke could be seen by United States Coast Guard cameras at the Port of Miami.  The Coast Guard asked the ship's captain about the smoke, and the captain indicated that the crew was controlling the fire. Approximately 30 minutes later, the captain contacted the Coast Guard to ask for assistance.

The combination of the ship's fire brigade and other fire-fighting vessels eventually brought the fire under control, but the ship lost control of its propulsion systems and had to be towed back to the Port of Miami.

Factors that directly contributed to the severity of the fire included

    • Cutting and welding without proper precautions

    • Avenue of fire spread through ventilation ducts containing lint and dust accumulations

    • Delay in discovery of the fire on the mooring deck


Members can download the full investigation report , and site visitors can download a summary in english or spanish .

 -[Ben Evarts | mailto:bevarts@nfpa.org]