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Subdeacon Joe

Fire On The Bonnie Dick

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https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/crews-battle-3-alarm-blaze-on-military-assault-ship/2363877/

 

blob:https://www.nbcsandiego.com/86466e03-1494-4749-b746-a77a651a90dc

 

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego Fire-Rescue is responding, along with multiple agencies to a military ship fire at Naval Base San Diego.

SDFD is assisting on this fire on board the USS Bonhomme Richard. According to a tweet from SDFD they are partnered with Federal Fire in unified command.

Several sailors are being treated for a variety of injuries, according to SDFD.

San Diego Fire-Rescue tweeted around 10:30 a.m. about the fire aboard the ship on the 3400 block of Senn Street.

Several sailors injured in ship fire at NBSD
 
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Photo by: San Diego Fire-Rescue Department
 
San Diego ship fire
Ship fire erupts at Naval Base San Diego
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By: Mary McKenzie , Zac Self
Posted at 10:51 AM, Jul 12, 2020
 
and last updated 11:03 AM, Jul 12, 2020

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego Fire-Rescue is responding, along with multiple agencies to a military ship fire at Naval Base San Diego.

SDFD is assisting on this fire on board the USS Bonhomme Richard. According to a tweet from SDFD they are partnered with Federal Fire in unified command.

Several sailors are being treated for a variety of injuries, according to SDFD.

San Diego Fire-Rescue tweeted around 10:30 a.m. about the fire aboard the ship on the 3400 block of Senn Street.

 

It's unclear how the fire started. According to a witness, an explosion was heard coming from the ship shortly after the blaze started.

Video posted by the department shows thick, black smoke rising into the air.

 

 

https://www.10news.com/news/local-news/san-diego-fire-rescue-responds-to-fire-on-uss-bonhomme-richard

 

 

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I didn't know that there is a currently serving vessel with that name.  The last one I remember is the carrier during the Vietnam War.  Proud name.  Hope it's not too bad for the swabbies involved.

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Looking at the top picture, it look like there is some type of maintenance going on.

 

There appears to be plastic on the exterior.

 

Pray their training is sufficient and the only injuries are due to heat exhaustion.

 

Fighting a fire inside a ship is nothing like a house.  There's no way to vent the heat and smoke - you have go through it to put out the fire once it's (the fire) fully involved.

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Amphibious Assault Ship launched in 1998

Darn shame it's afire, but better at dock, where they can sort out the causes and remedy them, than in action.

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Quote

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said 11 sailors were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries

JULY 12, 2020
11:17 AM
SAN DIEGO — 
 

A three-alarm fire onboard the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard injured 18 sailors Sunday morning as multiple agencies responded to the blaze.

A spokesman for Navy Region Southwest said the location of the blaze and its extent are not known at this time.

Eighteen sailors were sent to a local hospital with minor injuries, according to a tweet from Naval Surface Forces in San Diego.

According to the Navy, 160 sailors were aboard Sunday morning. All sailors have been evacuated from the ship and are accounted for, O’Rourke said.

 

I saw an unconfirmed report that SD Fire is pulling back and doing headcounts.  Also unconfirmed, SDFD saying that sailors coming off were saying fire was now in the fuel system.  

On the humorous side - apparently some reporter, I think it was on Fox News, called her a "Navy Assault Rifle Vessel."  

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1 hour ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

 On the humorous side - apparently some reporter, I think it was on Fox News, called her a "Navy Assault Rifle Vessel."  

:blink::blink::blink:

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Very, very bad fire, it’s said; likely to burn the vessel all the way to the water line.  
A total loss.

 

I think (?) I saw this vessel in port at the US Navy base in Japan years ago.

 

So far, the talking heads are saying all Navy hands and Fire Deparment personnel are accounted for, with (so far reported) “only” minor to lightly moderate injuries sustained.  Let’s hope that part is true, and that it stays that way.  
 

Cat Brules

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Given the uniqueness of fighting a fire onboard a Navy Ship I am surprised that they called on the SDFD for assistance. Even the base FD is likely to be poorly trained in fighting ship board fires.

 

Nothing against SDFD but as Chief Rick pointed out none of the traditional structure fire procedures will work inside a Navy ship. 

 

Read the comments about not being able to put the fire out and the ship burning to the waterline and my personal opinion is that those opinions are made by ill informed people that want their 15 seconds of fame.

 

Every US Navy ship has sailors onboard 24-7-365 whose job is damage control which includes fighting fires. Additionally EVERY Sailor onboard a ship is trained in the basics ship board firefighting. Additional damage control parties can easily be pulled from every other ship in port. Sailors not on duty can easily be recalled.

 

Shipboard firefighting requires its own techniques which the Damage Control division on the ship is more that prepared to execute.  It may take time but there is no way the USS Bonhomme Richard is going to burn to the water line. 

 

If I am wrong then we better all start learning Mandarin and Russian because the US Navy is done for.

 

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I fondly remember damage control training at Treasure Island as a Sea Cadet.  We even managed to keep the Buttercup from sinking.  I also remember what happens when you drop a used OBA canister into a bucket of oily seawater.

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2 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Given the uniqueness of fighting a fire onboard a Navy Ship I am surprised that they called on the SDFD for assistance. Even the base FD is likely to be poorly trained in fighting ship board fires.

 

Nothing against SDFD but as Chief Rick pointed out none of the traditional structure fire procedures will work inside a Navy ship. 

 

Read the comments about not being able to put the fire out and the ship burning to the waterline and my personal opinion is that those opinions are made by ill informed people that want their 15 seconds of fame.

 

Every US Navy ship has sailors onboard 24-7-365 whose job is damage control which includes fighting fires. Additionally EVERY Sailor onboard a ship is trained in the basics ship board firefighting. Additional damage control parties can easily be pulled from every other ship in port. Sailors not on duty can easily be recalled.

 

Shipboard firefighting requires its own techniques which the Damage Control division on the ship is more that prepared to execute.  It may take time but there is no way the USS Bonhomme Richard is going to burn to the water line. 

 

If I am wrong then we better all start learning Mandarin and Russian because the US Navy is done for.

 

We pray something like this never happens.

 

Then when it does, you've put the majority of your single and geographic bachelor sailors in a barracks room or in privatized housing,.  You have no back-up to your duty section. The other ships can't provide rescue & assistance because they only have minimum manning for a duty section as well.

 

Would having more qualified people onboard, in a non-duty status, make a difference? Maybe.

 

If they were in an availability that would also have a factor in how many were able to live onboard.  With that said, there appeared to be a berthing barge at the head of the pier.

 

Add to this the money being spent to house said sailors in barracks rooms/privatized housing when ships with racks and galleys are sitting empty, the constraints the Navy is operating under for maintenance funds and the personnel deficit.

 

A typical SCBA is rated for 45 minutes and that is only going to last that long under ideal conditions.  Depending on where the fire is in relation to where you have to go on-air, a rough rule of thumb is 15 minutes ingress and 15 minutes egress - that leaves 15 minutes to actually fight the fire.  In a real fire most people will be fortunate to get 1/2 the time out of a bottle.  Saying this to say, it takes a lot of people to fight a fire such as this and the Navy has taken those people off of ships and spent potential maintenance and modernization funds to GIVE them a (potential) higher quality of living.

 

Then, we've taken all the risk out of shore based training.  We use propane to simulate the fire with smoke generators.  But then, we have to monitor the compartment temperatures and not allow them to get too hot.  Not for the building/equipment, but for the safety of the sailors.  If it's too hot outside?  Same thing.  When these kids have to hit their first real fire it's a shock.

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3 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Given the uniqueness of fighting a fire onboard a Navy Ship I am surprised that they called on the SDFD for assistance. Even the base FD is likely to be poorly trained in fighting ship board fires.

 

Nothing against SDFD but as Chief Rick pointed out none of the traditional structure fire procedures will work inside a Navy ship. 

 

Dave,

 

It's SOP anymore.  There are requirements to run mutual aid drills to test communications and integration with local emergency services.

 

The rescue and assistance teams from the other ships should have been lined up on the pier, though.

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There was an initial report that the fire was started by a "welding situation".  Wouldn't be the first time a welding torch (gas or arc) has caused a fire somewhere!  Don't know what the real situation is as of Monday 13 July.  Navy damage control used to be the best.  During WWII, after a hit by a kamikaze the carrier U.S.S. Franklin was ablaze from bow to stern.  But damage control saved the ship.  Obviously, the situation here isn't the same.  Hopefully, they can put the fire out and save the B.R.

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Well I finally got a chance to watch some of the video and I am truly saddened by what I see. Makes me ashamed of what the Navy has become. :( Tug boats spraying sea water through openings in the ship. Fire engines on the pier doing the same. While this may look impressive it is doing significantly more harm than good. 

Warships are designed to inhibit the flow of water from compartment to compartment. Spraying sea water all over the ship is doing nothing to help combat the fire but it is doing extensive damage to everything else it is coming in contact with.

 

Proper shipboard procedure is to set up an air and water tight containment perimeter and then fight the blaze compartment by compartment. The fire gets extinguished either by the direct application of fire fighting agents or by the starvation of air and or fuel.

 

Pouring sea water through an opening in the ship simply because there is smoke coming out the hatch is detrimental to the actual fire fighting techniques being used below decks. The water that might accidentally reach the fire is probably washing away any fire suppression agents applied by those on scene. Mostly that water is filling up compartments and damaging everything in them.

 

Makes me sick to my stomache to watch.

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29 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Pouring sea water through an opening in the ship simply because there is smoke coming out the hatch is detrimental to the actual fire fighting techniques being used below decks. The water that might accidentally reach the fire is probably washing away any fire suppression agents applied by those on scene. Mostly that water is filling up compartments and damaging everything in them.

 

Makes me sick to my stomache to watch.

Brought back memories of watching videos of the USS Forrestal fire off the coast of Vietnam.

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Part of the problem is, ships that are pier side don’t have the use of their on board firefighting systems — the ship’s fire pumps aren’t running in port and they don’t likely have the personnel available to man up DC Central or to get DC parties out ahead of the fire. 
 

I would be surprised if the fire hasn’t gotten into voids and cable runs by this point. 

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I fought one shipboard fire when I was in the Navy. Normally I wouldn't have had to do that but I was in PQS training, a fire broke out, I was in the passageway when the HT's were running to the fire. The lead HT grabbed me and said "Come with us...you'll get fire signed off."

That was an experience I never wanted to have again. I was #1 hose man. Thank God those boys knew what to do because all my training went out the window. I did don the OBA properly and I knew to hang on to that hose and let the nozzle man guide it. I couldn't see a  damn thing but deep gray/black smoke. It all started with a cigarette butt in a trashcan that ignited a mattress.

 

When my ship was in the Yards for a short time we had  fire watches watching the fire watches. Our Captain wanted nothing to happen and we had no incidents.

 

I would bet things are pretty lax in the San Diego Shipyards. I know they  weren't in Portsmouth Naval Shipyards, but that was 40 years ago...Holy crap I am getting old :blink:

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37 minutes ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

Part of the problem is, ships that are pier side don’t have the use of their on board firefighting systems — the ship’s fire pumps aren’t running in port and they don’t likely have the personnel available to man up DC Central or to get DC parties out ahead of the fire. 
 

I would be surprised if the fire hasn’t gotten into voids and cable runs by this point. 

Not entirely true.

 

The ship should be on its own fire pumps unless going through an availability or other situation that requires securing them, at which time there are stringent requirements for the contractor to provide firemain.  Firemain also supplies cooling water to some systems.  Whether those requirements are enforced is another matter.

 

I do agree that minimum manning, as I mentioned in my above post, severely limits the number of people available when a casualty conflagrates.

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1 hour ago, Chief Rick said:

Not entirely true.

 

The ship should be on its own fire pumps unless going through an availability or other situation that requires securing them, at which time there are stringent requirements for the contractor to provide firemain.  Firemain also supplies cooling water to some systems.  Whether those requirements are enforced is another matter.

 

I do agree that minimum manning, as I mentioned in my above post, severely limits the number of people available when a casualty conflagrates.

 

Yeah, pretty much true,.

 

Running off a steam plant, it's a pretty good bet the BHR's main pumps were run off steam turbines. Taking power off the pier, and especially with the yard work going on, the ship's steam plant would be cold.

 

Additionally, there tends to be a problem with ongoing intake and discharge with a ship sitting static next to a pier.

 

Edit to add -- on the other hand, you're probably right -- the ship should have access to secondary pumps. But if DC Central isn't up, that might not have been an option, either.

 

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3 hours ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

And the answer about the ship's on board fire suppression. Down for maintenance.

 

Really. Doing hot work with the fire suppression system down. The hits just keep coming.

 

USS Bonhomme Richard’s fire suppression system not operational

 

 

Face lands in palms with dejected sigh. A real Whiskey Tango moment. 

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Unfortunately I expect that Navy will end up scrapping the ship.  The USS Bonhomme Richard will have been in commission 22 years as of this August and with the replacement America Class ships entering service, I doubt the Navy is going to spend the money to rebuild her.  We don't know the extend of the damage, but there is a pretty good chance it will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars range.

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1 hour ago, Chantry said:

Unfortunately I expect that Navy will end up scrapping the ship.  The USS Bonhomme Richard will have been in commission 22 years as of this August and with the replacement America Class ships entering service, I doubt the Navy is going to spend the money to rebuild her.  We don't know the extend of the damage, but there is a pretty good chance it will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars range.

 

Given the millions of gallons of sea water poured on the ship for the sake of looking like they are doing something You are probably right. :(

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3 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

Given the millions of gallons of sea water poured on the ship for the sake of looking like they are doing something You are probably right. :(

I think at that point they were more concerned about putting the fire out before it reached the fuel (or weapons if any were still aboard) than saving the ship.

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13 hours ago, Chantry said:

Unfortunately I expect that Navy will end up scrapping the ship.  The USS Bonhomme Richard will have been in commission 22 years as of this August and with the replacement America Class ships entering service, I doubt the Navy is going to spend the money to rebuild her.  We don't know the extend of the damage, but there is a pretty good chance it will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars range.


$$Billions lost maybe, I don’t know for sure.  I’m sure we’ll hear the number when the US Navy “committee’s” collective red face goes back to normal and they’re able to  stop choking long enough to face America and spit out the $$-loss.  
 

This is an unbelievable Monument to the skipper’s, the key members of the ship’s officers‘ and the crew’s, Incompetent Stupidity.   Stupid, stupid, stupid!  


(Rhetorically now).....Where the hell were those “in charge,” and why weren’t the working crew following trained-in, standard, simple, practice and procedure?  And, how and why do such “accidental” ship-board fires regularly occur?

 

Cat Brules

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On 7/14/2020 at 11:09 AM, Chantry said:

I think at that point they were more concerned about putting the fire out before it reached the fuel (or weapons if any were still aboard) than saving the ship.

Ships do not go into the yards with any Ordnance aboard...at least not in the real Navy. 
 

Damn automatic correlations 

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2 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Ships do not go into the years with any Ordnance aboard...at least not in the real Navy. 

 

I knew bombs, shells and most missiles were off loaded, I was less certain about ammo for the .50 calibers and the the point defense missile systems, mostly because the point defense missiles systems appeared to be a "closed" system, it wasn't until this morning that I saw a picture of a RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile being loaded.

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On 7/14/2020 at 6:16 AM, Chantry said:

Unfortunately I expect that Navy will end up scrapping the ship.  The USS Bonhomme Richard will have been in commission 22 years as of this August and with the replacement America Class ships entering service, I doubt the Navy is going to spend the money to rebuild her.  We don't know the extend of the damage, but there is a pretty good chance it will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars range.

Visiting with a sailor that was stationed on it and he says they’ll scrap it. With the new class of ship coming out they won’t dump the nearly a billion in it and years to get it back in service.

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1 hour ago, Chantry said:

 

I knew bombs, shells and most missiles were off loaded, I was less certain about ammo for the .50 calibers and the the point defense missile systems, mostly because the point defense missiles systems appeared to be a "closed" system, it wasn't until this morning that I saw a picture of a RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile being loaded.

I am pretty sure they offloaded everything except small arms ordnance when ships went into the Yards (not "years" that my auto sonofab....wrote above) 

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On 7/12/2020 at 1:46 PM, Chief Rick said:

Looking at the top picture, it look like there is some type of maintenance going on.

 

There appears to be plastic on the exterior.

 

Pray their training is sufficient and the only injuries are due to heat exhaustion.

 

Fighting a fire inside a ship is nothing like a house.  There's no way to vent the heat and smoke - you have go through it to put out the fire once it's (the fire) fully involved.

I saw a show once on sub school. They were telling the guys "We have a mockup of an engine room. We're gonna put you in it and set in on fire, and YOU GUYS are gonna put it out. Not John Wayne, not Chuck Norris.......you guys." Needless to say the trainees were a bit wide-eyed!

JHC

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4 hours ago, Capt. James H. Callahan said:

I saw a show once on sub school. They were telling the guys "We have a mockup of an engine room. We're gonna put you in it and set in on fire, and YOU GUYS are gonna put it out. Not John Wayne, not Chuck Norris.......you guys." Needless to say the trainees were a bit wide-eyed!

JHC

 

Went through something very similar when I joined the Navy at NS Mayport. 1 week course in shipboard fire fighting.  After 2 days of classroom we spent the next three in the fire pit learning how to fight fires.

Day one  the smoke house and proper donning and usage of a canister style OBA along with using different fire extinguishers on different classes of fires.

Day two was aircraft fires where ordinance was involved. Mock aircraft with mock ordinance surrounded by a lake of flaming jet fuel. If we allowed the ordinance to get too hot it would make a loud bang and those close to the event would be tapped out by the instructors and had to fall back simulating dead/wounded crew mates. We had to reassemble teams from the survivors and work till the fire was out. 

Day three was compartment fires. Instructors set a mockup of several compartments on fire with jet fuel.  We had to break up into our assigned fire teams when the alarm sounded, connect the hoses, select the right nozzle for our team and then fight our way to the compartments that were on fire and advance compartment by compartment till the fire was out.  Did this several times with each time being assigned to a different team and fighting a different configuration.  Going up a ship board ladder while fighting a raging fuel fire in the compartment above was something I'll never forget.

 

Really gets your adrenaline pumping. First time in my life I was terrified and elated at the same time. Also the first time in my life where I slept more than 12 hours without waking.

 

This was the first of many firefighting classes I took during my career. All of the others were limited to the smoke house and fighting aircraft fires where ordinance is involved. 

 

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Don't sound like my idea of fun. Glad I'm a civilian!

JHC

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