One of the benefits of a starship as opposed to an ocean-going ship is that it operates in a vacuum. There are fires on your ship, get the crew into shuttles, and open the ship's interior to space. Fire is snuffed out. Return crew to ship. Repair ship. Transmit a message to Starfleet requesting aid. Starfleet sends a relief ship.
So, we return full circle to these questions, what exactly did happen aboard the Stargazer? Why did Captain Picard abandon his ship?