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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Torch spark causes boat to catch fire in Cumbrian harbour

Sparks from a steel-cutting torch caused a boat in Whitehaven harbour to catch fire.

Whitehaven harbour boat fire
Emergency crews on board the vessel

Emergency services were called out to the blaze on the top deck of an old fishing boat yesterday afternoon.

Fire crews, the police and coastguards worked together to extinguish the fire and make the area safe.

Mark Smith, incident commander for the fire service, said: “The incident involved a 50ft ex-fishing boat which is in the process of being decommissioned.

“The fire started because of the use of an oxy-propane cutting torch which had been used to cut the material of the superstructure of the boat. The sparks caught a quantity of combustible material and the fire spread.”

The man who had been decommissioning the boat managed to get to safety and was not injured.

Mr Smith said: “It’s very uncommon for anyone to decommission a boat here.

“We would advise people never to use oxy-propane cutting torches near any combustibles.”

Fire crews from Whitehaven, Workington, and Frizington were called to the blaze at 2.19pm yesterday and had completed their operations by 4.41pm.

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