Houston Ship Channel closed briefly due to boat fire at LyondellBasell facility

Houston Marine Fire Department boat on scene after a tug boat that was moored caught fire around 2 a.m., Feb. 26, 2016. U.S. Coast Guard Station Houston boat crews established a safety zone to assist in fire fighting efforts. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Joseph Mccune)

Houston Marine Fire Department boat on scene of a tug boat fire around 2 a.m., Feb. 26, 2016.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Joseph Mccune)

HOUSTON — The Coast Guard Captain of the Port closed the Houston Ship Channel with a safety zone near Interstate 610 from 12:15 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, as their crews and local fire departments responded to a tugboat engulfed in flames, moored at the LyondellBasell refinery, about 2 miles east of Interstate 610, Friday.

LyondellBasell called Vessel Traffic Service Houston-Galveston watchstanders to report a boat on fire outside their facility at midnight.  Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Station Houston 29-foot response boat crew to the scene to meet shoreside fire crews and the Port of Houston fire boat.

The safety zone was in place until it was clear for traffic to navigate through the area, from 12:15 a.m. until 2 a.m., between Simms Bayou and Light 162.

The tugboat, San Gabriel, was moored next to an empty sulfur barge when it caught fire and the crewmembers were able to evacuate safely.

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