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Fireboat puts out barge fire before it reaches ammonia

CAT ISLAND (AP) — The Coast Guard says a barge carrying ammonia and diesel fuel caught fire off Mississippi, but the fire is out, a salvage company is on the scene, and air monitors find the air clean.

A news release says the barge reportedly held 2,500 tons of ammonia and 800 gallons of diesel fuel when it caught fire Thursday. It says the tug’s crew was unable to extinguish the fire and released the barge.

Gulfport fire officials tell local media that a fireboat crew extinguished the blaze before it reached the ammonia, a toxic chemical.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Brandon Giles says the barge is near Cat Island, and has been hitched back up to the towboat Kathryn T. Devall. He says air monitors have not recorded any pollution.