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March 18. 2013 9:15PM
UPDATED: Another fire on USS Miami at shipyard
KITTERY, Maine — Fire crews were once again called to the USS Miami in dry dock at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Monday afternoon.
The light fixture fire was quickly extinguished, but last May the same submarine suffered more than $400 million in damage when a civilian employee set a fire aboard to get out of work early.
Casey Fury, 26, was sentenced to just over 17 years in federal prison Friday for setting that fire and a smaller fire outside the nuclear submarine in June.
Monday's fire aboard the USS Miami was not intentionally set, officials said.
Shipyard spokesperson Deb White said sandblasting operations in the control area of the forward compartment of the sub produced some sand grit that damaged a temporary light fixture, causing a fire.
It was immediately put out with a CO2 fire extinguisher, White said. Crews in the affected area were temporarily evacuated as a precaution. No one was injured.
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard fire crews responded to the fire around 2 p.m. By 4:30 p.m., work had resumed, White said.
In May, five fire crews were injured fighting the 12-hour blaze that ignited after Fury lit a bag of rags on fire.
The small fire raged after enamel paint lining the inside of the area caught fire.
Fury admitted to setting the previous fires during a July investigation and pleaded guilty to two federal charges of arson in November.
On Friday, he received his prison sentence and was ordered to pay $400 million in restitution to the Department of Navy, although the government acknowledged he will not likely be able to pay even a significant portion of that total over his lifetime.
The court recommended in the sentencing agreement that Fury be placed in a prison facility that can address his mental health needs. The work being done when Monday's fire broke out is part of ongoing repair work to the sub, White said.
The repairs are expected to be deferred soon as a result of sequestration cuts, Paul O'Connor, president of the Metal Trades Council, said earlier this month.
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