HALIFAX -- The military is trying to determine what sparked a fire aboard a Canadian warship that caused what the navy described as "minor" damage to the vessel's engine room.

No one was injured as the crew of HMCS Kingston quickly extinguished the fire late Saturday morning while the ship was sailing off the Carolinas, a Royal Canadian Navy spokesman said Sunday.

"There will be a full investigation to determine the cause and the extent of damage," said Capt. Peter Ryan of Maritime Forces Atlantic. "Obviously, every fire is potentially serious. In this case, they responded quickly and got it out quickly."

The 55-metre coastal defence vessel, built in 1996, was sailing for its home port in Halifax after a six-week mission in the Caribbean when the smoke and heat alarms sounded, Ryan said.

One member of the ship's crew of 36 was close by and immediately set to work dousing the flames with a fire extinguisher.

"They really knocked this down right away," Ryan said.

A preliminary investigation suggests it was an electrical fire in the ship's forward machinery room.

The Kingston-class vessel and HMCS Glace Bay, a sister ship that also took part in the Caribbean mission, were expected to arrive in Halifax on Wednesday.

"Their schedule hasn't changed and they don't need assistance," Ryan said.

In February, an engine room fire aboard HMCS Protecteur raged for 11 hours, leaving the 45-year-old supply ship adrift in the Pacific.

Protecteur was towed to Hawaii, where it is now being prepared to be towed to its home port of Esquimalt, B.C..