Governor ends emergency declaration as barge fire is quelled in second day

DNERC photo.

Gov. John Carney on Tuesday issued and later terminated  a limited State of Emergency in Kent County due to a barge file that moved into its second day.

Carney requested additional resources to support local emergency management agencies – including the Bowers Fire Company and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control – through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) to continue combatting the fire.

it was later reported by that the fire had been extinguished Tuesday afternoon.


“Emergency response crews have been actively fighting the barge fire for more than 24 hours,” said Carney. “This local State of Emergency will help support their efforts to continue to fight the burn and assess the possible impact on the environment, the bay, and wildlife. Thank you to all the first responders keeping our community and our environment safe.”

The Delaware Emergency Management said 30 organizations and fire companies were involved in the effort to put out the stubborn fire, including the New York City Fire Department. The response may have been the largest Delaware firefighting operation to date. Command moved  to New Jersey as the barge leaves Delaware waters

The fire was reported off the coast south of Port Mahon, near the mouth of Delaware Bay. The barge was reportedly loaded with junked appliances and scrap metal. While pollution from the blaze was monitored no fuel spills were reported.

We’re working closely with the Coast Guard, Bowers Fire Company and other response agencies to assess any possible environmental impacts to the bay,” said DNREC Emergency Response Chief Jamie Bethard. “While there have not been any significant areas of impact observed during the search, we’ll continue to monitor the situation.”