Eleven sailors suffered minor injuries during a fire that broke out late Thursday aboard the amphibious warship USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7), Navy officials told USNI News.
“Sailors on board reported smoke in a cargo hold and a subsequent damage control investigation identified the fire and confirmed the fire had not spread to surrounding spaces,” read a statement from Expeditionary Strike Group 2.
“In total, 11 Iwo Jima Sailors reported minor injuries; they were treated at the scene and released.”
The fire broke out about 11:45 p.m. on Thursday while the amphib was in a maintenance period at Naval Station Mayport, Fla. Ship’s company, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and sailors from nearby guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) fought the fire until it was put out at about 4:35 a.m., according to a report in local station, CBS 47 Action News Jax.
“Sailors are rigorously trained to combat casualties such as this fire, and we are grateful for the assistance of the installation and the local community to help ensure the safety of our people and our ships,” said Iwo Jima commander Capt. Darrell Canady.
The cause of the fire is now under investigation, the service said.
Iwo Jima had been undergoing maintenance since returning from participating in Exercise Trident Juncture with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in December. Previous to the exercise, it had completed a six-month deployment with the 26th MEU in August 2018.
The incident aboard Iwo Jima follows fire damage to two other warships that were undergoing maintenance and repairs in shipyards.
On Nov. 10, an electrical fire broke out on USS Oscar Austin (DDG-79), which was nearing the end of what was supposed to be a year-long, $41.6 million maintenance and upgrade period at the BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair yard. About 30 crew members from Oscar Austin and USS Cole (DDG-67) extinguished the fire, according to a Norfolk Fire Marshal’s incident report obtained by USNI News.
The fire was caused by hot work on board and repairs to Oscar Austin are expected to stretch into 2022. Hot work typically involves welding or using a blow torch.
In a May status report, Cmdr. Garrett Miller, the commanding officer of USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), warned poor safety practices at the Ingalls Shipbuilding yard in Pascagoula, Miss., were putting at risk the two-year, $533 million effort to repair the destroyer that was heavily damaged in a deadly 2017 collision with a commercial ship.
Miller, in his report, wrote expanding the hot work area “caused damage to bulkhead lagging and electrical panel.”
The following is the complete Friday statement from ESG 2.
Sailors aboard USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) in partnership with sailors from USS The Sullivans (DDG-68), Naval Station Mayport Florida firefighters, and the Jacksonville Fire Department extinguished a fire aboard Iwo Jima early this morning, while the ship was pierside at Naval Station Mayport.
“Sailors are rigorously trained to combat casualties such as this fire, and we are grateful for the assistance of the installation and the local community to help ensure the safety of our people and our ships,” said Capt. Darrell Canady, commanding officer of Iwo Jima.
Sailors on board reported smoke in a cargo hold and a subsequent damage control investigation identified the fire and confirmed the fire had not spread to surrounding spaces.
In total, 11 Iwo Jima Sailors reported minor injuries; they were treated at the scene and released. Iwo Jima is conducting a maintenance availability.
The Navy is investigating the cause of the fire and determining the extent of the damage on board. There has been no damage to adjacent ships or to the pier infrastructure.