Casey James Fury, 24, was feeling anxious after a texting session with his girlfriend, so he set fire to a nuclear submarine, causing $400 million in damages, according to an arrest affidavit.
Fury, a civilian worker at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, was due in court today where he is charged with one count of arson stemming from the May 23 blaze on the USS Miami sub and a second count for setting a small fire at the shipyard, according to a Boston Herald report.
As for the $400 million sub fire, authorities say Fury, who suffers from anxiety, just wanted to “get out of work.”
The blaze aboard the USS Miami required dozens of firefighters working in close quarters to battle the fire for 12 hours, authorities said. Seven firefighters suffered minor injuries. Officials believe the fire started in a stateroom, where Fury — after failing a lie-detector test — admitted to using a Bic lighter to set a bag of rags and a vacuum cleaner ablaze, according to the affidavit.
“At approximately 5:30 p.m., his anxiety started getting really bad,” the affidavit read. “The reason he set the fire was in order to get out of work.”
Fury allegedly set the second blaze on June 16 on the dry dock cradle; that blaze caused “little or no” damage. Investigators believe the fire was started using alcohol wipes. Fury initially denied setting either fire, according to the affidavit.
“Fury explained that he became anxious over the text conversation with his ex-girlfriend and wanted to leave work,” according to the affidavit. He allegedly told authorities that he started pacing and eventually walked to the back of the boat, where he saw a bag of alcohol wipes. He allegedly removed them and used them to start the second blaze on the cradle structure that lifts ships above water when under repair.
Fury has a first court appearance scheduled for 3:45 p.m., today in Portland federal court, where he could face life in prison if convicted.