Arson? Sailor Under Investigation for Fire Aboard USS Bonhomme Richard

sailor under investigation

A sailor under investigation for Arson in regard to the fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard from July 12 has not been detained, but search warrants were executed at his home and property. The sailor under investigation had not been named, nor his rank released. The Navy is not commenting on the investigation. (10News)

NCIS had requested the help of the National Response Team for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, because they have resources to assist with complex cases.

Navy Times reported:

Arson is suspected as the cause of a July 12 fire that left extensive damage to the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard docked off San Diego, and a U.S. Navy sailor was being questioned as a potential suspect, a senior defense official said Wednesday.

The sailor was being questioned as part of the investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the official said, adding that defense department leaders were notified of the development. The official, with knowledge of the investigation, spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to provide details not yet made public. The sailor was not detained.

The fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard burned for 4 days, with up to 60 personnel receiving injuries from battling the blaze. Officials believe the fire started in a storage area. Thousands of water drops from helicopters helped firefighters battle the flames. In the end, the ship suffered extreme damage from the lower decks to the top deck. It is still “up in the air” whether the Navy will repair it or scuttle it.

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Featured photo: A fire continues to be fought into the evening on board the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) at Naval Base San Diego, July 12, 2020. (MC2 Austin Haist/Navy)


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