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UPDATE: Hue City crew doused major fire at sea

Apr. 15, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Rough seas
Fire broke out onboard the cruiser Hue City Monday while the ship was crossing the Atlantic Ocean, but no sailors were injured, fleet officials said Tuesday. (MC1 Nathanael Miller/Navy)
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The crew of the cruiser Hue City fought and defeated a major fire in one of the main engineering spaces Monday evening without suffering any injuries, according to a new report obtained by Navy Times.

The fire broke out at just after 6:20 p.m. local time while the Hue City was steaming about 200 nautical miles northeast of Bermuda, according to the initial incident report sent by the ship.

It started in the No. 1 gas turbine generator, located in main engine room one, and the crew reacted by going to general quarters, this message said, in what appears to be among the most serious shipboard fires in a few years.

While much remains unclear about what happened on board, the report makes clear that the fire wasn’t finally declared “out” until more than an hour and a half after it started.

The fire spread quickly from the generator, through the exhaust uptakes and to the first and third decks of the ship. The report said the crew had to use firefighting water, meaning that repair lockers had to be called in to fight the fire.

The fires were declared out and de-watering, de-smoking and overhaul were in progress starting at 7:54 p.m.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters at a press conference Tuesday that damage assessments were still ongoing and that it wasn’t clear whether the fire would cancel the Hue City’s deployment. The ship was en route to the Mediterranean.

The ship is commanded by Capt. Wyatt Chidester, who took command in March after previously leading the destroyer Forrest Sherman. The Hue City deployed Friday from Mayport, Fla., headed for 6th Fleet.

Hue City is headed back to Mayport for repairs and assessments, Fleet Forces Command said in a Tuesday night press release. Hue City returns with The cruiser Gettysburg and are slated to arrive Friday morning.

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