RCMP direct traffic in the Moresby area on Jan. 8, due to fire services responding to a fuel tank fire. (Photo by: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Fuel tank fire at Moresby

Second world war fuel tank ignites in the Moresby area of Prince Rupert

Emergency crews responded to a fire call in the Moresby area of Prince Rupert this morning at approximately 10 a.m.

A fire ignited inside one of the three fuel tanks, which was being removed by contractors, located down at the old rail road.

The contractors working on the removal were grinding and cutting at the time said Chad Cooper, deputy fire chief. This released a spark and ignited the interior of the tank. Vent holes had already been cut in the tank for safety.

READ MORE: Moresby Tank Removal Project moves forward; Port Edward to receive more than $1M from Ridley Tax

“Once the tank started to burn, the seam along the top split and flames were released,” said Cooper. The flames were quickly doused with foam substance.

The contractor telephoned the issue into emergency services and the fire was extinguished within ten minutes. Cooper said the tanks are not full but have left over fuel elements inside. “Residual fuel creates a black tar like substance inside the tank. This is what was burning.” The tanks are left over from the second world war era and were used to store fuel for battleships.

”No one was injured during the incident and there was no release of product into the surrounding environment,” said Veronkia Stewart, communications manager for the City of Prince Rupert. “The contractor and engineer will be reassessing their methods prior to restarting the work to ensure that an incident of this nature does not occur again.”

READ MORE: Moresby fuel tank removal gains traction

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Fire Crews and Contractors assess the scene at the Moresby tank location. A fire broke out in one of the tanks being removed on Jan. 8. (Photo by: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

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