8th January 2012 – I always believed foam insulation would melt when it gets into contact with high temperature. When welding in the engine room, there was some foam in the bilges. It took fire straight away, also setting fire to a piece of wood and a rag dipped in white spirit. There was an open cup with some white spirit underneath the gearbox. That was also set on fire.

I was able to extinguish the fire quick enough to prevent any damage to the ship. Most plastic pipes and hoses on the engine melted including some small equipment.  Since I had no fire extinguisher in the area, I started poring buckets of water in the engine room and on the engine. This might have been a risk, but if I had to wait for the fire brigade or a neighbour, likely the whole ship would have been on fire.

After I finished all the welding, a big cleanup started. Removing everything from the bilges and cleaning the metal where it had become black of the fire. The fist part of the engine room looks very clean now. Also the supports for the fuel tanks are ready. Tomorrow I’ll put the thanks in their brackets if the paint is dry.

As you can see, an accident can happen very quickly. I had no bucket with water ready, neither a fire extinguisher. The next brackets will be welded somewhere next week. Firstly I will put some safety equipment aboard.