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Fairfield Firefighters Deal With Flaming Coal Ship

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Fairfield Fire Department crews are currently out on Long Island Sound battling a blaze on a 700-foot cargo ship carrying coal. Fairfield firefighters, Fairfield police, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Fire Department of New York have been at the scene since 1 a.m. Friday, and expect to continue working until this afternoon.

The Coast Guard received a distress call at about 1:05 a.m. of a fire on a ship moored about four miles off Fairfield’s coast. The Fairfield Police Marine Unit and the Fairfield Fire Department joined them at the scene, finding smoke coming from the cargo hold. All of the ship’s crew members got off the ship safely, and firefighters managed to contain the fire to a single compartment.

But because Hurricane Irene is due to arrive on the Sound this weekend, emergency responders stayed on scene to remove all coal from the ship and extinguish it. Work crews expect to finish this work by early Friday afternoon. The incident will not interrupt the Fire Department’s normal hurricane preparation.

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