One dead after fire on cruise liner - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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One dead after fire on cruise liner

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FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - One person is dead and at least eleven were injured when a fire broke out onboard a cruise ship bound for Jamaica.

That cruise had originated in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Star Princess limped into Montego Bay, Jamaica around noon. The charred damage of the Princess Cruise's luxury liner - a dark contrast to her royal name. The black soot is visual evidence from the heat of the fire, producing a reminder of the trauma that she likely suffered at sea.

"I opened the door when I heard the alarm and I did smell smoke." said passenger Linda Gobel. "so I knew that the ship was on fire."

In a telephone call back home to Ohio, Gobel praised the crew's prompt, professional response to the emergency.

"The crew was excellent. They were very reassuring," said Gobel. "The captain came on every 25 minutes or so and gave us an update."

Cruise line officials say 2,690 passengers set sail with 1,123 crew members from Ft. Lauderdale on March 19. The Star Princess was on her way back from Grand Cayman to Jamaica when the fire broke out on a cabin balcony on Thursday morning. Cruise line officials said it quickly spread to other cabins before the crew put out the blaze while still at sea. As soon as the Star Princess reached port at Montego Bay, ambulances rushed the injured to local hospitals.

U.S. Investigators are on their way to Montego Bay to try to determine two things: first - exactly what happened on board the Star Princess. And second - is she still sea-worthy, and can she safely return to her home port in Florida?

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