U.S. Senators from across New England applauded the passage last night of a Senate Resolution recognizing the firefighters, emergency first responders, and USS Miami crew who responded to the fire aboard the USS Miami at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, on May 23, 2012. U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Scott Brown (R-MA), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Kerry (D-MA), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced the resolution on June 7th to commend the service of all those who successfully contained the fire, minimized damage to the submarine, and ensured there was no loss of life. The senators also paid tribute to the skilled workforce at the shipyard.
In a joint statement, the Senators said:
"The heroic actions of the nearly 100 firefighters, first responders, shipyard personnel, and the submarine crew in response to the fire aboard the USS Miami are truly inspirational and a testament to the courageous service of all who came together to extinguish the flames. Their exemplary efforts during those 10 hours in tight quarters filled with noxious smoke and searing heat, while minimizing damage and ensuring there was no loss of life, receives our unending praise and commendation. Furthermore, the men and women of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery operate at the highest levels of expertise, and their response to this incident is proof of their professionalism."
BACKGROUND: At approximately 5:41 p.m. on May 23, 2012, a four-alarm fire broke out inside the forward compartment of the USS Miami (SSN 755), a Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered submarine. The submarine was stationed at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, for a 20-month overhaul. More than 100 first responders from 23 locations across Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut responded to the fire for nearly 10 hours in tight, obstructed quarters.