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Fire breaks out on Carnival Freedom while Port Canaveral-based ship was in Grand Turk

A fire broke out Thursday morning in the funnel area of ​​the Carnival Freedom cruise ship while it was docked in Grand Turk.

The Port Canaveral-based Carnival Freedom carried about 2,500 passengers and a crew of about 1,100, according to Matt Lupoli, senior manager of public relations at Carnival Cruise Line. No injuries were reported.

In a statement released by Lupoli, Carnival said: “The Carnival Freedom Emergency Response Team quickly activated and extinguished a fire inside the ship’s funnel while the ship was in Grand Turk. All guests and crew are safe, and the ship’s guests have been cleared by local authorities to go ashore.We continue to assess the situation.

Katie Bushnell took this photo of the funnel fire on the Carnival Freedom while aboard Carnival's Mardi Gras in a cruise berth adjacent to Grand Turk.

Katie Bushnell took this photo of the funnel fire on the Carnival Freedom while aboard Carnival’s Mardi Gras in a cruise berth adjacent to Grand Turk.

Carnival Freedom left Port Canaveral on Monday for a five-day cruise.

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Among the ship’s passengers were Jenny Fleming and her mother, Carol Reich, both of Palm Bay. Fleming said they were among the first to report the fire.

“Mom and I were sitting on the balcony, drinking coffee, as we docked, and some amazing Mardi Gras (Carnival) people next to us started yelling at us that there was a fire,” said Fleming. “Mom rushes inside and calls 911, and we were apparently the first to report it.”

Fleming said he reported the fire at 7:30 a.m. Everyone was asked to report to their muster stations for 20 to 30 minutes while the Carnival crew assessed the situation. Passengers were given the green light to disembark at 8:40 a.m.

“The whole crew was great at keeping us informed and making sure we knew where we needed to go,” Fleming said. “A lot of passengers were in distress, and there was chaos at first. But then, once everyone got to the muster station, order was restored.

Katie Bushnell of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was on Mardi Gras, another Port Canaveral-based ship that was docked next to Carnival Freedom in Grand Turk, and witnessed the incident.

Passengers disembark from the Carnival Freedom, right, Thursday morning to spend the day in Grand Turk, after a funnel fire on the ship was brought under control.  On the left, Carnival Mardi Gras.  Both ships are based in Port Canaveral.Passengers disembark from the Carnival Freedom, right, Thursday morning to spend the day in Grand Turk, after a funnel fire on the ship was brought under control.  On the left, Carnival Mardi Gras.  Both ships are based in Port Canaveral.

Passengers disembark from the Carnival Freedom, right, Thursday morning to spend the day in Grand Turk, after a funnel fire on the ship was brought under control. On the left, Carnival Mardi Gras. Both ships are based in Port Canaveral.

“We woke up around 7:30 a.m. and I hear people screaming outside our room,” said Bushnell, who was on the cruise with several family members. “I go to our balcony, and people say ‘the boat is on fire!’ I look up and see black smoke billowing from a ship, and I thought it was ours.”

Soon, “we realize people were shouting from our ship to the other ship. I start trying to get a good view of the other ship, and, sure enough, we see their ship on fire. It was raging and was getting bigger and bigger. I was so scared because it was just getting started and the staff had just been alerted. So we watched it and tried to alert others on their balconies on the other ship.

In a Facebook post describing the blaze, Bushnell wrote, “Freedom firefighters have taken control, and all is well now. Thank God. It was a crazy thing to watch, and I was really scared for the Freedom passengers. the wind was blowing very hard and the fire seemed to grow bigger and bigger. I didn’t know how they were going to contain it. But the staff is very well trained.

A cruise ship funnel typically serves as a chimney to raise emissions above deck, away from passengers and crew.

Grand Turk is part of the Turks and Caicos Islands, located north of the island of Hispaniola, the island that includes the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Finch Walker is a Breaking News reporter at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Walker at 321-290-4744 or [email protected] Twitter: @_finchwalker

Dave Berman is a business writer at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Berman at [email protected] Twitter: @bydaveberman.

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This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Port Canaveral-based Carnival Freedom catches fire while docked in Grand Turk

source: news.yahoo.com

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