‘Very smoky’: Motor home catches fire aboard Coho ferry

‘Very smoky’: Motor home catches fire aboard Coho ferry
(Thoma Russell)
The Coho is pictured in Port Angeles on May 16, 2024.

Passengers aboard the MV Coho ferry that travels between Victoria and Port Angeles had a dramatic sailing Thursday afternoon.

A motor home caught fire on the ferry’s vehicle deck, and onlookers could see smoke coming from the vessel as it docked in Port Angeles, Wash., around 5 p.m.

Victoria resident Peter Fairley says thick smoke was coming from the vessel as it arrived, and firefighters had already waiting for it to dock.

“As the ship pulled around, they sort of pull its back around to pull up to the ramp, you could see smoke coming out of the open doors,” said Fairley.

“The growing number of firefighters arrived, a couple of guys stepped off of the ferry to help coordinate.”

He says it looked like one person was taken off the vessel and put into an ambulance.

No vehicles were seen offloading from the ferry as of 5:30 p.m., save for a single semi-truck, according to Fairley.

“I spoke with the semi driver and he said all of a sudden they were calling for him, and he was taken down the hold. It was very smoky, there was water on the ground,” he said.

Fairley added that people on shore could see smoke “pouring down from the end of the ship” as firefighters battled the blaze.

He added that the semi driver told him the mood on the ferry was tense, telling him he was “wondering if people were going to have to jump off the ship.”

Story continues below

The Coho is pictured in Port Angeles on May 16, 2024. (Thoma Russell)

A ticket seller at the terminal confirmed with CHEK News that it was a motor home that caught fire on the ship, but couldn’t confirm if there were any injuries or not.

She said they hoped to have the ferry depart later in the night, but it wasn’t clear if it would be able to.

Fairley says he would be surprised if it was able to sail Thursday.

“I question if it will, because there was a lot of smoke coming out, and the amount of smoke was increasing over time, at one point it was looking pretty serious,” he said.

May 16 was the first day of the season that the Blackball Ferry Line increased the Coho’s sailings from two round trips a day to three, just ahead of the Victoria Day long weekend.

CHEK News has reached out to the Port Angeles Fire Department for further details.

RELATED: Work begins on Belleville Terminal redevelopment project

Adam ChanAdam Chan

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!