Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fire Shutters LA, LB Port Terminals

By Mark Edward Nero

Operations within marine terminals at both the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach were shuttered for the better part of a day earlier week after an enormous fire erupted at the Pasha Stevedoring terminal at the Port of LA’s Berth 177.

The flames broke out about 6:40 pm Sept. 22 beneath a steel warehouse, sparked by a torch-welding operation, according to authorities.

The blaze was contained to a 50-foot-by-800-foot area, and although the warehouse did not catch fire, the dock beneath it was burned. About 850 terminal employees were evacuated, but no injuries were reported as a result of the fire.

Meanwhile, at the neighboring Port of Long Beach, three terminals temporarily discontinued operations the morning of Sept. 23 due to smoke and fumes from the fire at the LA port. Through a mutual aid agreement, Long Beach Fire Department fireboats based in the Port of Long Beach assisted the Port of Los Angeles with fire suppression at Pasha.

Smoke from the fire led the Long Beach terminals closest to the Port of Los Angeles, Pier T, Pier A and Pier F, to close for the day shift. The blaze was fully extinguished by 2:30 pm. After reassessing the situation, the affected Long Beach terminals reopened for the night shift, which began at 6 pm. Terminals at the Port of LA reopened at 9 pm.

According to LA fire officials, the burned warehouse was not a total loss and could reopen at some point.