Firefighters from three departments extinguished a barge fire Thursday on the Mississippi River near Hartford.
South Roxana Fire Chief Todd Werner said a salvage crew was working on a former dredging barge when a torch ignited absorbent pads workers used to mop up leaking engine oil. The company was in contact with the Coast Guard about the leaking oil, Werner said.
The fire department was dispatched at 11:43 a.m. to the barge site at 1301 West Piasa Lane, north of the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower and south of National Maintenance and Repair. The property is owned by Phoenix Terminals, which is subleasing the site to a St. Louis scrap company.
Firefighters from South Roxana, Roxana and Hartford used hoses from the bank to extinguish the fire in about half an hour, Werner said. The barge partially sunk earlier this week, Werner said.
“We weren’t actually able to make it onto the barge because it had partially sunken,” Werner said.
"Alton's fire boat was originally dispatched, but they were iced in," he said. "The lockmaster said there was ice from the locks all the way up to the bridge. Madison said their fire boat would be able to make it if it were needed.
"It was a small fire considering the situation," Werner said.
Engine oil leaked from the barge but was contained with a dike and posed no environmental threat, Werner said. He did not have an estimate of how much oil leaked but described it as minimal.
No one was injured in the fire.
Rosewood Heights firefighters manned the Roxana station as part of mutual aid.
AdVantage News reporter Diane Cox contributed information to this story.