October 26, 1966 off Vietnam USS ORISKANY suffers a major fire while operating off Vietnam. The fire starts when a crewman panics and throws a flare, which had accidently ignited while being moved, into a storage locker located at the forward starboard corner of hangar bay 1. The locker contains some 650 other flares which ignite in turn. The resulting fire takes three hours to control, kills 44, destroys or damages six aircraft, and puts the ORISKANY out of action for several months.
The sad part is the flare could have been picked up and carried a few yards and thrown overboard.