Lorry on passenger ferry heading for Harwich catches fire

Firefighters tackled a blaze on a ship at Harwich International Port. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

A fire broke out on a passenger ship carrying 400 people as it prepared to dock at Harwich port.

Firefighters were waiting for the vessel as it arrived at Parkeston Quay at about 5am today (Wednesday January 17), having been called 40 minutes earlier.

A refrigerator lorry had caught fire on a lower deck of the ship and the blaze had spread to several nearby vehicles.

“As the fire was on a lower deck of the ship and in a confined space the area had become smoke logged and was difficult to access.

“Our firefighters worked with the ship's crew and the Port Authority to organise freight to be removed to allow access to tackle the fire.

“Once onboard firefighters began tackling the fire in sections and brought it under control quickly despite difficult conditions.”

– Lee Lucas, Essex Fire Service

The fire was out by 7am and the damaged vehicles were taken off the ship at 10.15am. The cause of the fire is not yet known.