U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Andrew Kendrick says some nearby ship traffic was suspended but traffic along the Houston Ship Channel was not affected.
He says two tugboats were pushing the barges early Monday morning near the Bolivar Peninsula when one of the tugboats lost power. The barge it was pushing then collided with the second barge.
A fire erupted on the barge carrying a petroleum called naphtha. Crews extinguished the flames about four hours later and Kendrick says it wasn't immediately clear whether the petroleum leaked into the water.
There were no injuries reported.
The Galveston/Bolivar ferry service was not disrupted.