Massive fire reported off Vancouver Island

A container ship is believed to have caught fire Friday night near the B.C. islands of Vancouver Island.

By the time the French-flagged vessel MV Ile Royale was about 20 kilometers off the coast, Vancouver Fire Rescue vessels were there at 6:30 p.m. with fire extinguishers. The fire was out by 8:30 p.m., firefighters said in a tweet.

It was not known what caused the fire, said Sgt. Richard Dearden of Vancouver Island police, and there were no injuries.

The captain reported that the vessel, which was bound for the port of Gander, Nfld., was in full propulsion about 3,500 meters offshore, Dearden said.

According to, a newspaper for Crocs, Nfld., the vessel contained about 150 containers of imported household goods, clothing and shoes and left its port in Gander at 4:20 p.m.

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board is investigating, and salvage crews boarded the vessel to assess the wreckage.

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