Fire strikes fourth Navy warship since mid-July

Four U.S. Navy warships have caught fire in just over two months.

Yet another fire aboard a Navy warship has left more than a dozen crew members injured in the fourth blaze to strike Navy warship in just over two months.

A “small fire” in the engineering space aboard the cruiser USS Antietam resulted in 13 crew members receiving minor injuries while the ship was in the Philippine Sea, U.S. 7th Fleet spokeswoman Cmdr. Reann Mommsen told Military.com.

The crew quickly extinguished the blaze and the cruiser remains “fully operational,” according to Mommsen. The cause of the fire is now under investigation.

News of the fire was first reported by Stars and Stripes.

Fire strikes fourth Navy warship since mid-July

As Military.com notes, the Antietam fire is the latest in a string of conflagrations to strike Navy warships since July 12, when an inferno aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard left the vessel all but crippled at a pier in San Diego, California.

Just days after the Bonhomme Richard blaze was extinguished, Navy personnel responded to a “small” fire aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge while it was undergoing maintenance at General Dynamics’ National Steel and Shipbuilding Company shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia.

A few days after that, Huntington Ingalls Industries responded to a “minor” fire aboard the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia. 

Both the Kearsarge and Kennedy fires were quickly extinguished by Navy and shipyard personnel, as Task & Purpose previously reported

The Navy isn’t the only service forced to deal with shipboard fires in recent months: the Coast Guard has suffered two blazes on ships underway in the last several weeks. 

In late August, a major fire broke out aboard the Coast Guard icebreaker Healy  a major that forced the vessel to cut short a research mission to the Arctic and travel to Washington state to repair damage to its propulsion system, as USNI News reported

Then, in late September, a fire broke out aboard Coast Guard Cutter Waesche while the ship was underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, as Navy Times reported.

Quick action on the part of the Waesche’s crew managed to save the ship from a potentially disastrous blaze.

Related: Two other Navy ships caught fire just days after the USS Bonhomme Richard inferno

Jared Keller

Jared Kelleris the executive editor of Task & Purpose. His writing has appeared in Aeon, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the New Republic, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian, and The Washington Post, among other publications. Contact the author here.

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