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Accused USS Miami Arsonist Set Fires to Get Out of Work

He reportedly set one fire after a text conversation with an ex-girlfriend.

A Portsmouth Naval Shipyard employee accused of and another reportedly told investigators he set the fires because he wanted to get out of work.

Casey James Fury, 24, of Portsmouth, .

According to filed by Jeremy Gauthier, a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Fury admitted during an interview on July 18 that he set the June 16 fire after getting into a text conversation with his ex-girlfriend.

"At some point, he began texting his former girlfriend and attempted to convince her that the guy she started seeing was not just a friend like she had been claiming," Gauthier wrote in the complaint. "Fury explained that he became anxious over the text conversation with his ex-girlfriend and wanted to leave work. At around 6:30, he started pacing in the area of the MBT's and eventually walked aft toward a cut out in the hull near the back of the boat. His mind was racing and he observed a plastic bag containing isopropanol (alcohol) wipes on a keel block in close proximity to the hull cut area of the boat. He removed the alcohol wipes from the plastic bag and stuffed them into a corner around fire resistant wood underneath the hull cut on a structure used to hold the boat up while in dry dock. He set the isopropanol wipes on the wood and set a piece of plywood over the wipes. He subsequently lit the isopropanol wipes on fire with a lighter and returned to the MBT area."

Fury initially denied involvement in the May 23 fire, even after he had admitted setting the June 16 blaze. But during a polygraph examination on July 20, he eventually admitted his guilt after the polygraph examiner told him he was being untruthful.

Fury told the polygraph examiner that around 5:30 p.m. on May 23, while stripping paint in the torpedo room "his anxiety began getting really bad." He reportedly grabbed his cigarettes and lighter and left the torpedo room.

He went up to the middle level and into a room with several bunks, one of which had bags of equipment and rags on it. He set the rags on fire with a Bic lighter and after seeing flames, returned to the torpedo room and resumed working. Another employee then told him about smoke, and Fury exited the boat.

Fury told the investigator that the reason he set the fire "was in order to get out of work."

Fury reportedly suffers from anxiety, and is on several medications for anxiety, depression, sleep problems and allergies. He also checked himself into an in-patient mental health facility from June 21 to 23, according to the criminal complaint.

Fury remains held without bail. If convicted of either charge, he faces life imprisonment, a fine not to exceed $250,000 and restitution.

Havaniceday July 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM
Looks like they might need to change the job screening procedure at the shipyard and not just hire everyone relatives like the State does.

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