VIDEO: A Navy arson trial is about to get underway, more than two years after fire destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard. The trial comes as the Navy continues to unravel why the fire became one of the worst peace-time disasters in Navy history.
Beginning on July 12, 2020, the USS Bonhomme Richard burned for nearly five days in the San Diego Bay. “It was horrifying. It was the biggest fire I've ever seen in my life,” said Senior Chief Michael Robert Penny. “A lot of sailors did a lot of hard work to try and save that ship. And unfortunately, it was just too big. The fire was too large.”
Penny was off that Sunday morning. By the time he arrived at Naval Base San Diego the ship was in flames. Penny became one of the Navy investigators on the origins of the fire. He hasn’t spoken publicly about the disaster until now.