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Local Family Returns Home After Terrifying Ship Fire


March 27, 2006

Passengers are back home from a vacation that turned into an ordeal.

A Star Princess cruise ship caught fire between the Grand Cayman islands and Jamaica last week killing one person and injuring 11.

Some of those passengers shared their experience with NBC 10's Nicole Muri.

Joe Gibson is breathing a sigh of relief. With his vacation hat still on his head, Gibson and his family arrived home to Rhode Island Sunday night. They are all survivors of a fire that destroyed three floors of the Star Princess just days into their Caribbean cruise.

"It was a great time. We didn't expect to have to wear a life jacket on a formal night, you know what I mean?" Gibson said.

After a fun night, Gibson and his family had returned to their cabin on the 11th floor of the ship, the same floor where the fire started. Just after 3 a.m. they were alerted to trouble.

"The general alarm was sounding, we smelled smoke and needed to get moving," said Gibson.


On the way to my parents' room I was knocking on doors," said Gibson's stepson Woody Fazzanno.

Woody had invited a friend along, and the high school seniors actually helped alert other passengers to the trouble.

"At that point, we knew we had a problem, Woody said. "There we were in the middle of the ocean with a blaze on the ship."

"We thought, oh man, it could go down," he said.

But soon after, the crew let passengers know the fire was contained and they were safe.

"Between battling the fire and everyone being accounted for, that took seven hours."

Gibson and his family escaped injury, but said they appreciate how close they were.

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