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Timaru Port fire update

Timaru Port fire update

Firefighters are working to extinguish the remaining flames on board a ship in Timaru’s Harbour, five days after the initial blaze broke out.

The fire broke out about 9pm on Monday night, and crews have been working around the clock since to fully extinguish it.

Crews have had to be careful with how much water they doused it with, so the ship wouldn’t sink.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s area manager for South Canterbury, Steven Greenyer, says the fire has been contained but there are still two fires burning in the ship.

One is still burning in the cargo hold, while another is in the front the boat.

Mr Greenyer says they are now sealing up the ship, including the port holes and doors, to help starve the fires of oxygen.

"We’re still finishing work to try and smoother the fire. We’re using a sealing agent to seal up doors and any holes so we can starve the fires of air, and then they’re more likely to go out."

Four fire trucks and about 20 firefighters remain at the scene. They include personnel from Christchurch, Nelson, Dunedin and Timaru.

A tug boat with firefighters onboard is also still being used to cool the sides of the ship.

"We anticipate that this will take some time to fully extinguish," Mr Greenyer says.

"Until then and until we make the ship completely safe, we won’t know what caused the blaze and can’t start any investigation."

A further update will be released by 4pm today.


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