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If you haven’t heard, a serious fire broke out on St. Clair last Saturday night in Toledo, OH, actually the eastern industrial suburb called Oregon, where a number of lakers are in winter layup at the CSX Torco dock.  Torco expands to (TOledo ORe railroad COmpany).  These photos were taken Monday or Tuesday, to the best of my knowledge, by Corey Hammond, a friend of a friend.

Some basic facts: St. Clair is a 760′ ore boat operating for American Steamship Company, or ASC, launched in Sturgeon Bay WI in 1975.  She transported diverse cargo with a capacity of 44,000 tons.  It appears the fire is now out, but investigation has possibly only just begun.  No one was injured.  Adjacent vessels –see Great Republic below–likely sustained little or no damage.

I never got photos of St. Clair underway, but here is a blogpost by a friend Michigan Exposures. 

To me, besides being tragic, this is a cautionary tale, an illustration of the fire triangle. If you wonder about the value of fire drills, here’s a good reminder of what happens in a fire and what science undergirds fighting one, with analogy provided by Ernest Hemingway. 

I’ll mostly let the photos speak for themselves.

 

 

One node of the fire triangle mentioned above is fuel.  Given the other two nodes–heat and oxygen, materials not commonly thought of as fuel do burn and fast.  Here’s a demo in  residential setting, well worth a view . . . how fast a fire spreads in one minute.

Vessel farthermost ahead is ASC’s John J. Boland, smaller than St. Clair. 

 

It looks gutted and heat deformed.

 

Boatnerd also has reportage on the St Clair fire.

There will be followup stories.

Many thanks again to Corey Hammond and Tim Hetrick for these photos.

Here are previous tugster posts called “ice and fire.”

 

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