Nuclear Sub Fire Possibly Caused by Vacuum Cleaner

June 6, 2012 Updated: June 11, 2012

A fire on a nuclear submarine docked in Maine was traced back to a faulty vacuum cleaner, according to a preliminary investigation released on Wednesday.

The fire caused more than $400 million in damages on the USS Miami several weeks ago, before it was extinguished, according to the Portland Press Herald. The fire damaged living quarters, the command and control center, as well as the torpedo room, which was not armed at the time.

The investigation found that the fire might have started inside a vacuum cleaner stored in an unoccupied area, according to New Hampshire-based WMUR-9 television. The investigation’s findings were classified as preliminary.

The fire started on May 23 and took 10 hours to put out.

“Should the Navy determine … that the Miami can safely operate following repairs, I stand ready to work to help ensure the Navy has the necessary funds,” Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, told the Press Herald.