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Painter Casey Fury said he set fire to rags inside USS Miami submarine after a panic attack.
For setting rags ablaze inside a nuclear submarine, Casey Fury must serve 17 months in jail and repay the United States Navy $400 million for the damage he caused.
The incident last May injured seven people and nearly destroyed the Los Angeles-class attack sub, the Boston Herald said.
“From the bottom of my heart, I’m truly sorry for what I have done,” a repentant Fury said in court, the Herald reported.
The 26-year-old painter was a non-military worker at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. He said he set the fire to get off work early, with no sick days or vacation time to draw from, Reuters reported.
The Miami was undergoing an extensive overhaul at the time, The Associated Press said.
About 100 firefighters needed 12 hours to control the “superheated smoke” billowing from the sub, the AP said.
Fury claimed he suffered an anxiety attack and panicked when he set the fire. He did the same thing to the Miami three weeks later, setting another fire outside the sub, according to the AP.
“One of the lessons is that a small fire can cause tremendous damage,” US District Judge George J. Singal said, according to the AP. “Yet within a month he starts another one.”
One firefighter who responded to the call said Fury should face severe punishment, Seacoastonline.com reported.
Eric Hardy told the courtroom that, at one point during the battle, flames trapped some of his colleagues who miraculously escaped.
“The temperatures were insane,” he said, according to Seacoastonline. “It was probably the hottest fire I’ve ever worked in. The best way I can describe is it was like fighting a fire inside a woodstove.”
The fire didn’t destroy the sub, but repairs are on hold during sequestration, the AP reported. The fires caused nearly $500 million in damages, the US Navy said.
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