Sailor investigated for arson in USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

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The fire that rendered the ship inoperative began on July 12 while docked at a naval base in San Diego. More than 400 sailors from 16 nearby ships battled the blaze, which reached temperatures of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and took four days to go out.

The Pentagon declined to answer questions about the investigation, which was first reported by ABC 10 News in San Diego.

“The Navy will not comment on an ongoing investigation to protect the integrity of the investigation process and all those involved,” said Lt. Tim Pietrack, a spokesperson for the Navy. “We have nothing to announce at the moment.”

A spokeswoman for the Naval Surface Force Pacific, which is investigating the cause of the fire, also declined to comment.

The fire that consumed the ship broke out on a Sunday morning, with fewer than 200 sailors on board, and quickly spread. Initial firefighting efforts were halted after an explosion inside the ship, forcing sailors to temporarily withdraw for safety reasons.

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