Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ship Evacuated After Fire Reported

Visitors and staff were removed from the USS Lexington while fire crews fought a fire onboard the retired aircraft carrier. There were no injuries. The fire was believed to be below the hangar deck of the carrier, which is now permanently moored and serves as a museum. The fire was reported under control early that afternoon, city spokesman Ted Nelson said.The Essex-class carrier served with distinction in World War II and the wars in Korea and Vietnam before it was decommissioned in 1991. City fire department Capt. James Brown said the fire started about 11 a.m. in a small room that contained old maps and flags. It took about an hour to get the fire under control. By 1 p.m., firefighters were working to clear the smoke. Brown said museum managers were deciding whether to reopen the museum that afternoon.

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