Navy: Sub worker set fire so he could leave early

PORTLAND — A civilian laborer set a fire that caused $400 million in damage to a nuclear-powered submarine because he had anxiety and wanted to get out of work early, Navy investigators said Monday.

Joel Page/The Associated Press

U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine, Thomas Delahanty II speaks Monday, July 23, 2012 outside of U.S. District Court in Portland, Maine following a court appearance by Casey James Fury, 24, of Portsmouth, N.H. Fury is charged with arson for setting the fire that did $400 million in damage to the nuclear submarine the USS Miami.

Casey James Fury, 24, of Portsmouth, N.H., faces up to life in prison if convicted of two counts of arson in the fire aboard the USS Miami attack submarine while it was in dry dock May 23 and a second blaze outside the sub on June 16.

Fury was taking medications for anxiety and depression and told investigators he set the fires so he could get out of work, according a seven-page affidavit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Fury made his first court appearance Monday afternoon but did not enter a plea.

People who appeared to be family members attended the hearing but declined to comment. His federal public defender, David Beneman, did not speak in court and earlier in the day also declined to comment to The Associated Press.

The Miami was in dry dock at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, for an overhaul when the fire damaged the torpedo room and command area inside the forward compartment. It took more than 12 hours to extinguish.

A second fire was reported June 16 on the dry dock cradle on which the Miami rests, but there was no damage and no injuries.

Fury, who was working on the sub as a painter and sandblaster, initially denied starting the fires but eventually acknowledged his involvement, the affidavit states.

He admitted setting the May 23 fire, which caused an estimated $400 million in damage, while taking a lie-detector test and being told by the examiner he wasn't being truthful.

Fury told Timothy Bailey, an agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, that "his anxiety started getting really bad," so he grabbed his cigarettes and a lighter, walked up to a bunk room and set fire to some rags on the top bunk.

The Navy originally said the fire started when an industrial vacuum cleaner sucked up a heat source that ignited debris inside.

Fury said he set the second fire after getting anxious over a text-message exchange with an ex-girlfriend about a man she had started seeing, according to the affidavit. He wanted to leave work early, so he took some alcohol wipes and set them on fire outside the submarine.

Fury said he initially lied about setting the fires "because he was scared and because everything was blurry to him and his memory was impacted due to his anxiety and the medication he was taking at the time," according to the affidavit.

Fury told NCIS agent Jeremy Gauthier that he was taking three medications for anxiety, depression and sleep, and a fourth for allergies. He checked himself into an in-patient mental health facility on June 21 and checked himself out two days later, the affidavit reads.

If convicted of either charge, Fury could face life imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 and be ordered to pay restitution, officials said.

Magistrate Judge John Rich III scheduled a combined detention and probable cause hearing for next month. The U.S. attorney's office has filed a motion asking that Fury be held without bail.

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Steve  Dosh's picture

Navy: Sub worker set fire so he could leave early

all, 12.07.24 20:15 est
This used to be called sabatogue or treason and it was punshible by death
Remember the Thresher n e one ? Bad plumbing • New Hamster . ..
Next topic Republicans :
White House: Families' taxes could go up $1,600
By ALAN FRAM Associated Press The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 6:04 AM EDT
Apropos of nothing ? /s Steve

Jennifer Chretien's picture

Let me be clear I am In NO

Let me be clear I am In NO WAY defending this man's actions! I at times experience severe depression and some anxiety so I understand his struggle; having said that there have to be better ways to get out of work early, you can start with I'm feeling sick I need to leave early. I do realize there is a lot of fear out there about letting your employer know you have any kind of emotional issues. There is still a large stigma around mental health issues and people fear for their jobs. That doesn't justify setting fires in any way. I don't know the shipyard's attitude towards people with these kinds of issues. Speaking in general terms I believe that if people felt that their employers would be supportive maybe they would feel they could be more honest and take the time to get the help they need before it gets to an extreme situation. When I got my job, I hadn't worked in many years as a result of my depression. I took the chance and told my employer about my illness from day one and they have been very, very supportive and understanding, making it clear that I my well being it the most important thing. I truly appreciate that, this is the only job I've ever had where my well being is even on the list of priorities. People with emotional issues can be productive employees and need support from their employers. Sorry for the long comment but this is an issue that I feel strongly about.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Once again I find myself confused...

How is it even possible to somehow go from discussing an individual intentionally setting fire to a submarine in dry dock, to a pro gun argument. I'm going to start scouring the news for one of these pro gun stories, and start posting my displeasure for motorcycle exhaust laws, maybe throw in a few anti helmet cry's.
It never ceases to amaze me, how some people can twist any subject to fit their own agenda.........

Mark Elliott's picture

The second amendment IS

The second amendment IS Pingree's agenda! Were merely showing the hypocrisy in her arguments.......

 's picture

He should be allowed to be

He should be allowed to be arrested, tried, and sentenced under the UCMJ, not pathetic civilian law.

PAUL MATTSON's picture

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-First

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-First District, issued a statement today saying the fire is the work of an isolated individual and should not reflect poorly on the workers at the shipyard. WHY DOESN'T SHE APPLY THE SAME LOGIC AS IT RELATES TO HER HIGH CALIBER ASSAULT ON GUNS?

Mark Elliott's picture

Good question....have you

Good question....have you called her and asked her?

PAUL MATTSON's picture

Dozens of times with no reply

Dozens of times with no reply since her inaugural campaign.

Mark Elliott's picture

don't let that discourage

don't let that discourage you...keep trying! WE pay HER to listen to US!


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