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Fire breaks out aboard hunter-killer submarine drydocked at CFB Esquimalt

HMCS Corner Brook on arctic patrol during OP Nanook sails past an Iceberg. Department of National Defence

Crews were called to CFB Esquimalt to put out a fire on a Royal Canadian Navy submarine on Monday.

HMCS Corner Brook is at the Esqumalt Graving Dock undergoing a refit.

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The Department of National Defence (DND) said crews with the CFB Esquimalt Fire Department were called around 12:40 p.m. to put out the fire. Firefighers with the Esquimalt municipal fire department were also called to assist.

CFB Esquimalt’s purpose-built repair facility, where the submarine was being worked on, was evacuated and the fire was quickly extinguished, the DND said.

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No one was injured in the fire.

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The DND said salvage and overhaul of the fire was complete, and fire inspectors were probing its cause.

It’s not the first fire aboard one of the navy’s four Victoria-class long-range patrol subs. Canada acquired the hunter-killer subs from the Royal Navy in the 1990s.

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In 2004, a fire broke out aboard the HMCS Chicoutimi, killing Lt. Chris Saunders and sending two others to hospital during its first Canadian mission.

The subs have also required frequent repairs and upgrades.

HMCS Corner Brook has been at the base for an extended docking work period since January 2015, with an expected completion date of 2020.

The sub is currently having a new, modern mast system installed, the first in the fleet to get the new technology.

— With files from the Canadian Press

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