Crews called to three separate fires in Harwich in one evening

Update 12:30pm

Firefighters have now left the scene after monitoring temperatures on the boat throughout the morning. We’re now handing the scene over to Essex Police.

Station Manager Karen Nicoll, Incident Commander said: “It’s been an incredibly busy time for our crews since yesterday evening with three incidents happening at the same time in Harwich.

“I’d really like to praise crews at the first incident we attended with the van fires in George Street. They acted quickly to get the fires under control which meant we could release crews from that incident to the boat fire in The Quay. This incident was a challenging one to bring the fire under control due to the extreme temperatures within the engine room of the boat. Crews acted quickly to enter the boat and bring that fire under control to prevent it spreading throughout the boat and that has hopefully meant it will be repairable.

“Thank you to our partners at the incidents in Harwich who helped us put cordons in place, access the boat and keep the public safe while we dealt with these incidents. We’d also like to thank The Pier Hotel team for their generosity during the incident in providing a space with refreshments for crews during breaks in firefighting.

“We had around 60 firefighters dealing with the three incidents throughout the evening, many of them are on-call firefighters who are paid to protect their community. They all live or work within 5 minutes of an on-call fire station and are paid to protect their community. I’d recommend the role to anyone who lives within those 5 minutes, it’s a role like no other! You never know what incident you could be called to and when and you’ll be working to keep your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues safe. Find out more here.”

Update 8am

Crews were at the scene until 4am working to extinguish the fire and cool the scene. We'll be visiting the scene throughout the day to monitor the temperatures within the engine room and to carry out an investigation into the cause of the fire. 

Update 12:45am

Seven crews have been working to extinguish a fire on a boat near The Quay, Harwich since 9pm. 

Firefighters have been working to prevent the fire spreading throughout the boat and have been able to contain it to the engine room. 

We’ve been working alongside coastguard and Port of Harwich colleagues and we’re now in a position to scale this incident down to five crews. 

We expect to remain on scene throughout the night to fully extinguish the fire and cool the scene. 

Group Manager Danny Partridge said: “Crews have been working in punishing conditions with extremely high temperatures in the engine room but have worked hard to enter the engine room from the deck and prevent the fire spreading throughout the rest of the boat. 

“We’ve still got lots more work to do to fully extinguish the fire and cool the scene and I’d like to praise crews for their determination in what has busy night in Harwich with three incidents. 

“Our Control Room has taken lots of calls to the incidents in Harwich tonight and I’d like the thank them for their quick actions to get crews to the scene while incidents were happening simultaneously.”

Firefighters have been called to three separate fires in Harwich this evening. 

Crews were first called to a vehicle fire in George Street, Harwich at 7:22pm. 

On arrival, four crews (Dovercourt, Colchester and Weeley) reported that two vans were on fire near a bus station and there was also a small fire inside a railway station building. 

To help prevent the fires spreading throughout the building and to nearby buildings, crews requested the help of a further two crews from Clacton and Coggeshall.

Crews worked to extinguish the fires and believe the fires in George Street were started deliberately.

Essex Police arrested a man on suspicion of arson endangering life. Find out more here.

At 9:54pm, we were called to a pile of rubbish on fire in an alleyway in Vansittart Street, Harwich. 

A crew from Frinton worked to prevent the fire spreading to nearby houses. Firefighters extinguished the fire by 10:16pm. 

Seven crews (Clacton, Coggeshall, Colchester, Great Baddow, Maldon, Weeley and Wivenhoe) are currently at the scene of a boat fire near The Quay, Harwich. 

While crews were working to extinguish the fire in George Street, we were called at 8:57pm to reports of a boat on fire.

On arrival, crews reported that a a boat docked in the port was on fire and heavily smoke logged.

We’re currently working to extinguish the boat fire and will provide updates when we can.

If you live nearby, please keep your windows and doors shut as there is a lot of smoke coming from the scene.

7.22pm - 02 February 2024