Four U.S. sailors were transferred to the hospital and later released last week after “a small fire” broke out in the machinery space aboard the guided-missile cruiser Gettysburg, officials said.

Gettysburg was undergoing a maintenance and modernization availability at BAE Systems Ship Repair-Norfolk, Virginia, Wednesday when the fire broke out, according to Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center spokesman Douglas Denzine.

While the incident remains under investigation, Denzine said in an email that the fire is believed to have been caused by sparks from hot work.

The four Gettysburg sailors were taken to a local hospital where they were treated and released, he said.

“The fire was extinguished quickly after it was identified,” Denzine said. “The ship sustained no damage and there is no impact to the ship’s mission or operations.”

The cruiser, which was commissioned 30 years ago last month, is in the final stages of a five-year modernization and service life extension program, the first such extension of its kind, according to the Navy.

Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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