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Sailors injured battling blaze on warship

Eleven sailors sustained what Navy officials said were minor injuries after a blaze broke out on board the amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima late Thursday night at Naval Station Mayport in Florida.

They suffered heat exhaustion, smoke inhalation and muscle injuries, but all were treated at the scene and released, according to Expeditionary Strike Group 2 spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Amelia Umayam.

The fire erupted at 11:45 p.m. Thursday but crews confined it to one compartment and it was extinguished just after 4:30 a.m. Friday, Umayam said.

“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,” according to a command press release emailed to Navy Times.

No damage to adjacent ships or pier infrastructure was reported.

The cause of the fire and the extent of damages remain under investigation, Umayam said.

The Wasp-class Iwo Jima is undergoing a maintenance availability. Sailors from the guided-missile destroyer The Sullivans joined firefighters from the base and the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department to battle the blaze.

“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,” the Iwo Jima’s commanding officer, Capt. Darrell Canaday, said.

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Tom Francis declined to answer questions about the blaze, stating that it was under “the imperious authority” of the Navy.

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