The Navy charged a sailor on Thursday with deliberately starting a fire last year that destroyed the Bonhomme Richard, one of the worst blazes to engulf an American warship outside of combat.

“Evidence collected during the investigation is sufficient to direct a preliminary hearing in accordance with due process under the military justice system,” Cmdr. Sean Robertson, a Navy spokesman, said in a statement.

Commander Robertson said the sailor was a member of the ship’s crew at the time of the fire, which began on July 12, 2020. The Navy declined to provide any other details about the sailor except for his or her rank — seaman apprentice — and said the sailor would face charges of willfully hazarding a vessel and aggravated arson.

The commander of the Navy’s Third Fleet, Vice Adm. Steve Koehler, will decide whether to refer charges to a court-martial after the results of the hearing.

In August, Navy officials said one sailor was under investigation for possibly starting the shipboard fire, but it was unclear Thursday night whether the charges were filed against that same person.

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