Titanic on fire

  • Thread starter Jasmine Alexia LeighAnn Erika Nikole Wolfe
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Jasmine Alexia LeighAnn Erika Nikole Wolfe

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My aunt just brought me a video that said there was a fire in the boilers that couldn't have been put out and the reason the ship was going so fast was to try and reach New York before the fire spread. It also said that coal had been transferred from two other ships to the Titanic, and that the other two ship's passengers had been transferred as well. I've never heard either of these stories before and was wondering if they were true. Can anyone tell me?
 

Dave Gittins

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Jasmine, this is a tale that the media likes to drag up and sensationalise from time to time. The truth is that there was a smouldering fire in one of the coal bunkers. This was quite common in those days. It was dealt with by digging out the coal and feeding it to the furnaces. The job was finished by about noon on 14 April. The fire couldn't spread easily, because it was in a steel bunker. They just had to make sure that the heat from it didn't ignite coal in the bunker next to it. There was no need to hurry to New York. In fact, on the first day out from Ireland Titanic went relatively quietly. Overall, she was going at much the same speed as Olympic did on her maiden voyage.

It's true that coal from other ships was used in Titanic. Coal was in short supply because of a strike. Presumably some passengers who would have gone on other ships went on Titanic instead. All these things were just normal features of the shipping industry. It Titanic had not sunk nobody would have given them a second thought.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Jasmine, you may wish to click on The Coal Bunker Fire on Titanic by Cal Haines which was published in the TRMA Titanic Research section.

As Dave pointed out, the media loves to play this one up, and apparantly so do some parties that should really know better. The reality was that coal bunker fires were more an irritant then a threat, and played no signifigent part...if any at all...in the sinking of the ship.
 

Dave Gittins

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I just happened to look in a book today and found that the ill-fated Waratah also had a bunker fire on her maiden voyage, which she completed safely. As no iceberg got in her way, nobody made a fuss about it.
 
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Jing Hua Wu

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The fire already started while the ship was docked in Southampton, if memory serves me. If the fire was really that bad, they would of just delayed the voyage.

I find it amazing about how the media can distort so much of the real story of Titanic.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>I find it amazing about how the media can distort so much of the real story of Titanic.<<

Get used to it....if you can. So much of the mythos has become intermixed with the Titanic that it's often very difficult to sort out the reality from the legend. I don't know about the fire starting in Southampton, but as you pointed out, it wasn't bad enough to be a major concern. Annoying to be sure, but not that big a deal.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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>>I find it amazing about how the media can distort so much of the real story of Titanic.<<

What real story? Does anyone know the real story of the Titanic? Those that did are long gone. There are a few today who believe they know "the real story." But that real story differs from one person to another and is continually changing. Let's face it. It is likely we will never know the real story. The best we can hope for is to possibly get closer to it by gathering as much knowledge and information as we can, and seeing how much of it can be made to fit together into a coherent story, and how much can be discarded as misunderstandings, myths, and distortions. And when all is done, we will still be left with a theory or two. And as my signature line says, ...
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Well, it wasn't an everyday occurance...which I'm sure any number of trimmers and firemen were grateful for, but the spontaneous combustion which got things going was common enough that it didn't really raise a lot of eyebrows. The remedy was strieghtforward enough, if backbreaking;

•Shovel the coal in the effected bunker as needed to clear it out,
•Drench the burning embers down when they got to it,
•Do some needed clean up.
•End of story.
 
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