NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — No injuries were reported after a small fire broke out Monday morning on the new John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier (CVN 79) docked at Newport News Shipbuilding.
The carrier was evacuated around 10:15 a.m. after the fire was reported, according to Huntington Ingalls. Shipyard officials say emergency personnel responded quickly to extinguish the flames and no one was hurt. WAVY’s Chopper 10 flew over the carrier, but didn’t see smoke.
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Work aboard the carrier was suspended for a time as the ship was ventilated, with the heat index above 100 degrees Monday in Newport News
Newport News Shipbuilding is investigating the cause of the fire, which had a much different result compared to another recent fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard in San Diego. The amphibious assault ship burned for days, causing considerable damage to the billion dollar vessel.
Jennifer Boykin, president of Newport News Shipbuilding, addressed the fire in a Facebook post Monday.
“As we come through the investigation, we will share the results through our normal EH&S alert communications. I want to thank everyone who responded this morning,” Boykin said. “Your quick thinking and prompt actions kept people safe, prevented injuries and minimized damage to the ship. You have my commitment that we will learn from this, and we will share our lessons learned – not just at NNS – but across all Navy shipyards.”
Meanwhile Newport News Shipbuilding has reported more than 80 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, with 296 cumulative cases since the beginning of the pandemic.