Photo by Francois Mori/AFP/Getty Images.
A New Hampshire man faces life in prison for allegedly setting a fire that caused more than $400 million in damage to a nuclear submarine—all because he apparently wanted to leave work early.
On Monday, the Navy brought two charges of arson against Casey James Fury, a civilian shipyard worker, for two blazes on the USS Miami attack submarine while it was in dry dock at Maine’s Portsmouth Naval Shipyard earlier this year, the Associated Press reports. Fury, who is said to have confessed to investigators while taking a lie-detector test in June, has not yet entered a plea.
Navy investigators say that the 24-year-old painter and sandblaster told them that he started the May 23 fire in one of the sub’s bunk rooms when he had a panic attack and wanted to leave work early. He reported that at the time he was on medication for anxiety, depression, allergies, and insomnia.
Seven firefighters sustained minor injuries while fighting the blaze, which took more than 12 hours to extinguish, according to Reuters. Three weeks later, Fury apparently set a smaller fire in the dry dock facility outside the Miami, after having a heated text exchange with an ex-girlfriend.
Fury faces a $250,000 fine, life imprisonment, and may be ordered to pay restitution, if convicted. Despite the extensive damage, the Navy plans to repair the $900 million vessel and reintroduce it to the fleet, the Los Angeles Times reports.