A fire broke out at approximately 6:40 AM Saturday morning on the iconic MV Kirkland, also known around town as the Argosy cruise ship. Fire crews responded to the dock at Marina Park where the boat is moored. Crews from the Kirkland Fire Department and other local municipalities including Redmond, donned respirators and took shifts putting out the fire which had consumed much of the vessel below the waterline. It took firefighters about thirty minutes to extinguish the flames, entering the vessel in shifts. After each shift, firefighters rested at Marina Park as they rehydrated and had their vital signs monitored.
Battalion Chief Mike Dettmer of the Kirkland Fire Department said it was a difficult fire to fight because it was below deck. Firefighters used saws to cut the deck so they could get to the flames in the engine room.
There was a large fire response, with four different jurisdictions and a total of about 17 units.
"Because it's so hot we need to rotate our guys through more often than you would in a house fire," said Dettmer.
Crews from the state Department of Ecology were on scene and oil booms were deployed around the MV Kirkland to contain any potential leakage into the lake. The Marina Park dock was closed, but the boat launch on the other side of the park remained open. "Everything below deck is toast" said one firefighter. There were no reported injuries as a result of this incident.
The MV Kirkland is a 1924 ferryboat refurbished by Argosy in 1996. This vessel can accommodate a maximum of 150 guests for receptions or 90 guests for table seating. The 12' floor-to-ceiling windows make the main deck unique among vessels in the Northwest. This boat offers two full-service bars and a galley. Wheelchair-accessible restroom on-board. This vessel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This vessel is moored at Kirkland City Dock.
Thank you to Glenn and Sandy Peterson for the heads up.