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Video: Explosion, fire aboard San Diego-based naval ship

17 firefighters were transported for evaluation after battling the blaze at Naval Base San Diego


Update July 13, 2020, 10:46 a.m.: At least 17 firefighters were transported to the hospital for evaluation while battling the blaze Sunday, according to the San Diego Fire Department. All of the firefighters had been released as of Sunday night, NBC San Diego reports.

At least 57 people, including 34 sailors and 23 civilians, have been hospitalized with minor injuries that included heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation, according to the Naval Surface Forces. It is unclear if this count includes the 17 firefighters.

Adm. Philip Sobeck, commander for the Expeditionary Strike Group 3, said the fire is believe to have started in the lower cargo hold below some offices: “It’s a huge open area where you would store a lot of Marine equipment and everything else. I think they roughly have about 1 million gallons of fuel, well below where any heat source is.”

Sobeck added that the explosion may have been a backdraft.

Update 4:22 p.m.: Twenty-one people – 17 sailors and four civilians – were injured in the explosion and fire aboard the vessel, per CNN.

The ship could burn for days, “down to the water line,” San Diego Fire Chief Colin Stowell told CNN.


Original report

By Janelle Foskett

SAN DIEGO — Fire crews responded to a three-alarm fire and explosion on a ship at Naval Base San Diego Sunday morning.

Eleven sailors have been hospitalized and are being treated for a variety of injuries sustained in the blaze and explosion aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault ship homeported in San Diego, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue. The ship is docked at the 3400 block on Senn St. just south of downtown San Diego.

Watch the ABC10 live feed of the fire:

San Diego Fire-Rescue (SDFD) tweeted that it was requested by Federal Fire around 9 a.m. A second alarm was called at 9:09 a.m., with a third alarm struck at 9:51 a.m.

SDFD and Federal Fire are working in a unified command, according to SDFD.

SDFD shared that all its personnel were accounted for as of 11:19 a.m.

NBC San Diego reported that, according to Krishna Jackson of Naval Base San Diego, the ship had undergone a regular maintenance cycle before the fire was reported.

It’s unclear what started the fire.

Check back with for more information.


Smoke rises from the USS Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego after an explosion and fire Sunday on board the ship at Naval Base San Diego.

AP Photo/Denis Poroy