CATSKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Catskill Fire Company fought its first below-deck boat fire Sunday morning after a blaze broke out on a tugboat pushing a barge down the Hudson River. It happened mid-morning on New Year’s Day, according to a Facebook post from the fire department.
A dive team from the City of Hudson Fire Department and a fireboat from the Glasco Fire Department were sent to the scene for mutual aid. The Hudson boat arrived first, authorities said, and by that point the tug captain had lost power and shut all doors to the engine room to keep oxygen from feeding the fire.
Due to the intense heat in the compartment, the Hudson firefighters could not do anything. A Catskill duo climbed aboard the tug soon after and were able to knock all visible fire down with a pair of 20-pound extinguishers. They shut the doors again and waited for Glasco.
Once the fireboat arrived, crews were able to stretch a line down to perform extensive overhaul operations. Firefighters also vented the tug with a fan and cross-ventilated by leaving both ship doors open.
Another 20 Catskill firefighters helped from the shore, according to the Facebook post. A Greene County Sheriff’s Office boat was also on the scene in case crews needed to be taken off the flaming tug. The blaze was extinguished by early Sunday afternoon.