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Navy Inquiry Cites Complacency in Sub Fire

By David Sharp And Jennifer McDermott, The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal says he wants to hold a congressional hearing on Navy firefighting and training to determine whether Congress should allocate additional funding.

The Connecticut Democrat made the comments after the Navy released documents detailing its investigations into a May 2012 fire aboard the USS Miami at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The documents, obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, found that the Navy had become complacent about fire safety when ships were being repaired. Vessels are more vulnerable in that setting because damage-control equipment is removed and most of the crew is away.

The Miami was crippled when a small fire set by a worker quickly spread. The Navy ultimately decided to scrap the nuclear submarine after the repair bill hit $700 million.