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article imageUSS Miami: most expensive fire caused by a home appliance

By Anne Sewell     Jun 7, 2012 in World
Kittery - Reports are that the fire in the USS Miami nuclear submarine was caused by a vacuum cleaner and damages are reported at $400-500 million.
Digital Journal reported recently on the fire on the USS Miami nuclear submarine docked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine. A photo of the blazing submarine can be viewed here.
Luckily no one died in the fire, although several people were injured fighting it.
A preliminary investigation into the incident has found that a vacuum cleaner was the cause of the fire.
The fire, which happened on May 23, destroyed the nose section of the submarine, including the crew and officers quarters and the forward torpedo room. The blaze raged on for 10 hours before being extinguished and seven fire fighters and crew members suffered minor burns.
Luckily at the time of the fire, the submarine was stripped of all ammunition for maintenance, and the nuclear reactor was shut down.
Preliminary estimates are that the fire caused $400-500 million in damage to the submarine (depending on the news source), and another $40 million in damage to the dockyard. A final estimate is due from the U.S. Navy later this month.
The USS Miami (SSN-755) was commissioned in 1990 and is a Los Angeles class attack nuclear submarine. It cost around $900 million to build and has a crew of 13 officers and 120 sailors.
It is believed the damaged submarine will be repaired, most likely because replacing it with a more modern Virginia class submarine would cost around $2 billion.
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