KEY POINTS

  • The fire onboard the USS USS Bonhomme Richard continued to burn Tuesday, despite efforts by firefighters and sailors to contain it
  • The ship's superstructures has reportedly suffered heavy damage, raising questions about whether or not the ship will be repairable
  • Two decks reportedly separate the fire from 1 million gallons of fuel still aboard 

Firefighters Tuesday battled a blaze aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego that erupted during the weekend. 

“We've been at it for over 24 hours now and we're going to get it until it's done,” Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck told a Monday press conference.

He said the superstructure and upper decks of the vessel suffered heavy damage and water was seeping into the lower decks, causing the ship to list toward the pier. Sailors and firefighters have been working to fix breaches and remove water to ease the listing.

Firefighters aboard the ship have managed so far to keep the blaze away from 1 million gallons of fuel still aboard the ship. Two decks separate the fire and fuel, with firefighters working to create a “buffer zone.” However, there still were concerns the ship may be damaged beyond repair due to the ferocity of the fire.

Parts of the ship’s superstructure melted from the heat, which is said to be around 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The fire also had reached the ship’s bridge by Monday and caused extensive damage.

Medics help a sick passenger from an Australian liner off a Uruguay navy launch in Montevideo, on April 3, 2020 Medics help a sick passenger from an Australian liner off a Uruguay navy launch in Montevideo, on April 3, 2020 Photo: Uruguay's Navy / Diego PERONA