Tacoma City (3)

Comments from the forum - 2

A memory has just popped up (as it does these days) and I have it in mind that a ship (possibly the Vancouver City) called into Carrick Roads in Falmouth with the wood products in a hold on fire. Does anyone have any other information about this. The date would have been between 6 and 13 January 1973.
I joined the Vancouver briefly later that month in Amsterdam for a nice ten day stay before leaving on promotion to the Victoria City. David Ricketts. Posted on forum 12 February 2012.

I was 2/E engineer on board that trip. The fire alarm went off at about 12-39.
The fire was in number 3 hold, I think, All CO2 gas was let off, that didn't put the fire out, including the bottle reserved for the engine room. Sometime during the passage about 2 in the morning there was a explosion, lifting the hatch cover and deck cargo about a foot up.
We put into Falmouth where the local fire brigade attended. They wanted the ship alongside to discharge cargo to let them get at the fire. I believe the Harbour Master wouldn't allow it.

We left for Cardiff still on fire, after much discussion between the Fire brigade, the Board of Trade? and RSL, regarding I think the draft, an awful lot of water had been pumped into the ship.
We eventually sailed with five Falmouth fire men aboard. One thing stands out in my mind was the officer in charge had the George Medal or George Cross for saving someone, a really decent chap from Newcastle who had been at one time a third engineer with Clan Line I asked him why he came about to be living Falmouth, he said to get away from his mother-in law, a real character.

On arrival in Cardiff we discharged part cargo, the fire was still not out, we sailed for Antwerp with Cardiff firemen on board we the fire was put out.
There was extensive damage to the hatch coming and other damage. We sailed for Amsterdam where I left the ship.
The old man was Commodore Higgins, the Chief was John Hewson I can't recall the rest of chaps.

I lived next door to the Fire Officer in charge of North Northumberland and he showed me some papers the fire Brigade had written about the fire on the Vancouver City and their conclusions were that the cause was a discarded cigarette
My memory is not as good as it was and maybe some one who was also on board will add and or correct my version. Robert Unthank Bell. Posted on forum 14 February 2012.

Quite correct, Robbie. Mark Higgins told me many years back that the official report stated that a cigarette had been the likely cause of the fire. MikeJones. Posted on forum 14 February 2012.

Disclaimer: The statements on this page are the views of the person who posted them on the forum. The events took place many years ago and in most cases rely on those people's memories, and so we cannot guarantee the accuracy although every effort is made to check it.

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