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Navy confirms fire erupted on San Diego ship

Authorities continue to investigate what caused a fire in the main mechanical room of a San Diego-based ship late last month.

The blaze broke out at about 10 a.m. on Nov. 29 as the mine countermeasures ship Champion was pierside at Naval Base San Diego, Naval Surface Forces spokesman Cmdr. Patrick Evans confirmed Friday.

The ship’s crew initially responded to the blaze, with federal and local firefighters arriving to assist, and they extinguished it by noon, Evans said.

One sailor was treated for smoke inhalation, while a federal firefighter was treated for heat-related injuries that were not burns, he added.

“Sailors who lived on a ship are now living on a berthing barge, very similar to if a ship was in an extended yard availability,” Evans told Navy Times.

Evans declined to comment on the cause of the fire or extent of the damage because the incident remains under investigation.

As of Friday, the Champion fire had not been included in public Navy accident records, which list “Class A” mishaps that incur at least $2.5 million in damages.

Two weeks before the Champion blaze, 11 sailors sustained what Navy officials said were minor injuries after a Nov. 14 fire erupted on board the amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima at Naval Station Mayport in Florida.

The Champion fire was at least the second on board a minesweeper this year.

A blaze broke out on board the Bahrain-based Devastator in March.

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