FAIRHAVEN — A small fire at the New Bedford hurricane barrier Wednesday evening was put out in around 20 minutes as New Bedford and Fairhaven firefighters attacked it by land and by sea.

New Bedford Fire Department Captain and man in charge of the department's marine units Bill Sullivan said that crews were called out to the barrier at around 6 p.m. Wednesday for a small fire.

One of the wooden pillars on the Fairhaven side of the barrier's central gate caught fire, Sullivan said.

He described how Fairhaven firefighters climbed down to the fire from the barrier, putting it out with fire extinguishers, before New Bedford crews soaked it down using a deck gun on the department's Marine 38 rescue boat.

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Sullivan said the fire only took around 20 minutes to extinguish.

No injuries were reported in the incident, and the only damage was a softball-sized burnt out area on the pillar, according to Sullivan.

"It's still structurally sound," he said with a laugh.

He noted the fire was likely caused by sparks from welders working on the gate.

The hurricane barrier protects New Bedford harbor from storms, with the gate operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and only closed in extreme weather.

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