A barge loaded with junked cars caught fire Sunday on the Mississippi River in Jefferson Parish, La., and was in danger of sinking for a time.

The barge was in a fleeting area on the east bank at mile marker 105, downriver from the Huey P. Long Bridge, when the fire was reported around 12 p.m., according to Coast Guard officials.

Firefighters with the Jefferson Parish Fire Department could not immediately reach the fire from land and got in closer on towboats and another barge. The effort was joined by the fireboats General Roy S. Kelley and Irvin S. Cooper.

That afternoon the barge began sinking from accumulated water from the firefighting. But as the fire was brought under control some iof the crushed vehicles were removed by crane and the barge lightened.

It was the second such incident in two months, following a May 6 fire on another barge carrying crushed vehicles for scrap near Mobile, Ala. Mobile County firefighters extinguished that blaze at mile marker 3 on the Mobile River without injuries.

Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.