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USS Miami fire linked to.......Vacuum cleaner

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posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 08:05 AM
That's right folks, the fire that burned for over 10 hours on the USS Miami recently, and caused $400M in damage, to the $900M submarine was linked to a vacuum cleaner used to clean up at the end of the work shift, and put into a closet, according to a preliminary report. The fire began in the forward compartments, and caused extensive damage to the forward torpedo room, crew living quarters, all the way back to command and control spaces, over several decks. There were 75 waves of fire fighters, and 3 million gallons of water required to put it out. It burned so hot that aluminum fittings burst into flame.

A fire that caused an estimated $400 million in damage to a U.S. Navy nuclear-powered submarine docked in Maine may have been caused by a vacuum cleaner, authorities said on Wednesday.

The fire in the forward compartment - which includes crew living, command and control spaces and the torpedo room - of the USS Miami on May 23 took about 12 hours to extinguish and injured seven firefighters.

“Preliminary findings indicate the fire started in a vacuum cleaner used to clean work sites at end of shift, and stored in an unoccupied space,” the shipyard’s public affairs office said in a release. Specific details are still being evaluated.

edit on 6/8/2012 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 08:12 AM
Your source isn't working for me. It says I'm not authorized to view that page.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 08:17 AM
reply to post by nobody you know

How about now?

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 08:25 AM
I bet the vacume cleaner was made in china

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 08:38 AM
400 million due to one hoover
theres going to be a new chapter in the submarine maintenance manual now about the correct usage and storage of a hoover

i'd hate to be the last person to have used it and put it away when they come looking to apportion the blame

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 09:18 AM
This just sounds fishy. I mean seriously with today's technology how in the # does a fire spread that far on a $900 #ing million dollar sub?????!!!!??? Man if you need some remodeling just come out and say it and don't even bother starting a stupid fire.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 09:22 AM
reply to post by HawkeyeNation

Under normal circumstances it wouldn't. But she's in for a 20 month refit in a shipyard, so there is just a skeleton crew, and shipyard workers onboard. It SHOULDN'T have been allowed to get anywhere NEAR as bad as it did, as they should have had fire watches going. But a lot of her equipment had been removed for refit/replacement.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 09:42 AM

Originally posted by HawkeyeNation
This just sounds fishy. I mean seriously with today's technology how in the # does a fire spread that far on a $900 #ing million dollar sub?????!!!!??? Man if you need some remodeling just come out and say it and don't even bother starting a stupid fire.

You would think that any military vessel, especially a sub, would have have safety systems that react to the slightest sign of a fire. Not to mention that they would be virtually fireproof with special paints, insulation and fire suppression systems.

There must have been a dereliction of duty in this expensive incident. The explanation does not make sense as it stands.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 11:15 AM
They should have diverted some DARPA funds and sprung for a Dyson.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 04:46 PM
From the sparse report, it appears as if the vacuum cleaner that started the fire, was actually in a cupboard and not in use when the fire broke out. Very odd. I can only surmise (and this is pure speculation on my part) that one of two things happened here.

The vacuum cleaner suffered a severe fault at the point that it was disconnected from the mains, which burned out a component in such a way as to set fire to the rest of the machine, and the contents of the cupboard, from whence the fire spread.

Some substance, or combination of substances was sucked up by the vacuum cleaner, and combusted within the cleaning device, causing it to catch fire itself, and to pass on the burn to the other contents of the cupboard, and eventually turn the incident into a four hundred million dollar balls up.

Seems pretty far fetched to me. There would have to have been a pretty serious short comming in the manufacture of the vacuum cleaner for it to be capable of catching fire in an extreme way during a component burn out, and I highly doubt that a vacuum cleaner would be used to clean down an area of a ship known to contain particulates of highly volatile chemical substances. I find the whole scenario utterly bizzare.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 06:09 PM
reply to post by TrueBrit

I work with a guy who was a sonar operator on boomers, and according to him, the wiring used, once it reaches a certain temperature, it creates its own oxygen, and is EXTREMELY difficult to put out. And if it was allowed to burn without anyone noticing it, then it wouldn't take long to reach that temp. Once it hits that flashpoint, it's pretty much over. That sounds like what happened here, with it being in a closet. I STILL want to know where the HELL the fire watch was. There is ALWAYS a fire watch, and deck guard, an engineering watch, etc. Especially in a shipyard. So where the hell were they, and why didn't they catch this LONG before it reached that critical point.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 06:16 PM
probably got complacent figured when was the last time a fire broke out while we were on watch and headed to the local wharf pub.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 06:17 PM
reply to post by BASSPLYR

With some of the changes made to the military in the last few years (ie, no yelling in basic, mental health days in basic, etc) it wouldn't surprise me in the least. Heh.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 09:57 PM
reply to post by Zaphod58

I'm with some other people on the how does an unplugged vacuum burst into flames question. If you don't know what caused the fire just say you don't f"ing know don't lie. I've found a couple things in life one of which is electronic devices when turned off and powered down just don't burst into flames very often and my guns don't randomly climb out of the safe at night and go marauding through the city.

Honestly the only way this makes sense is if someone was welding and then vacuumed up afterwards and a piece of hot slag or something sat in a pile of just the right other stuff and sparked up, but even that to me would be a pretty amazing set of circumstances.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 10:13 PM
reply to post by roguetechie

I haven't seen one burst into flame, but I've seen some vacuum cleaners that had bad motors get pretty damn hot. If there was something else in that closet, then I could see it happening. This is just a preliminary report though, so we'll find out more in the next few weeks. I'm keeping up with this one pretty closely.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 10:58 PM
I bet this expression aptly fits most people's reaction to this story. I know it was mine. Obviously somebody failed to apply common sense.

There are lots of things which should never be mixed together or even be vacuumed up in a wet-dry vac. Certain solvents and/or things containing oxidizers come to mind. Somebody vacuums up something like a spill of paint thinner or some such could easily create a fire hazard waiting to happen.
edit on 8-6-2012 by pauljs75 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 11:24 PM
Here's two things that may be common on a ship that you don't want near other stuff... Same may apply to subs, but I wasn't on a sub so I don't really know. But seems plausible at least...

Ironically the first one is for fighting fires. The second one is for treating potable water, and my past experience with it is that if it's stored a long time the plastic bottles get really brittle and tend to break leaving a chemical pellet mess everywhere. Either of those in the prescense of stuff containing hydrocarbons (like fresh oil based paint) could be considered bad juju. I could also see somebody storing a vac near a fire gear locker, or vacuuming up some chemical spill and not emptying it which is just asking for trouble.

Then there is things like hot welding slag, or aluminum filings combined with other stuff from grinding, that could easily end up in a plastic cansiter shop vac during a shipyard period.

I wouldn't jump to blame the vac, but rather what may have been in the vac and the lazy people who never emptied it out or improperly stored it.

Still during a shipyard maintenance activity... Where the hell are the fire watches? (Thus my pic from the earlier post.)

posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 12:34 AM
number one rule
when cleaning your job site.
make sure there are no sparks from the welding RODS,
getting picked up in the ,,debre'

ya that simple.

posted on Jun, 10 2012 @ 02:15 PM

KITTERY, Maine — U.S. Navy investigators said it was not a malfunction within the vacuum cleaner that caused the fire aboard the USS Miami on May 23. Rather, something hot was sucked into a vacuum cleaner that subsequently ignited materials within.

Moreover, the Navy said in statement released Friday, the vacuum cleaner should have been emptied. Navy Public Affairs said shipyards "are directed to empty ... vacuum cleaners each shift, or remove them from the ship."

According to a statement released by the public affairs office at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the fire started with a "heat source" that was vacuumed up, "igniting debris in the vacuum cleaner."

The vacuum, one "you would find in a typical shop environment," was unplugged at the time the fire began. So were others in the storage area where the one that caused the fire was kept.

Public Affairs Officer Gary Hildreth said he couldn't confirm that the fire started in only one vacuum cleaner, and the statement is unclear whether one or more ignited. Reference is made several times to a single vacuum cleaner, and yet there's a statement that "there was no apparent defect that would have caused the vacuums to ignite."

So it apparently wasnt' the vacuum, but as was said by some others, something that was sucked into the vacuum, and then a failure by workers to follow procedures and empty it before storing it.

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