Navy charges sailor with setting fire that destroyed warship

Navy Ship Fire
FILE - In this July 12, 2020, file photo, smoke rises from the USS Bonhomme Richard in San Diego after an explosion and fire on board the ship at Naval Base San Diego. The U.S. Navy said Thursday, July 29, 2021, that charges have been filed against a sailor who is accused of starting a fire last year that destroyed a warship docked off San Diego. The amphibious assault ship called the USS Bonhomme Richard burned for more than four days and was the Navy's worst U.S. warship fire outside of combat in recent memory. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The U.S. Navy says a sailor has been charged with starting a fire last year that destroyed a warship docked off San Diego.

The fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard marked the maritime branch’s worst warship blaze outside of combat in recent memory.

The amphibious assault ship burned for more than four days and was left with extensive structural, electrical and mechanical damage. It was later scrapped, and estimates to replace it ran up to $4 billion.

The Navy said Thursday that the sailor was a crew member at the time and has been charged with aggravated arson and the willful hazarding of a vessel.

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