Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Raging Fire Destroys Massive World War II-Era Blimp Hangar in Southern California
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 5 months ago on
November 8, 2023

Share

TUSTIN, Calif. — A raging fire Tuesday destroyed a massive World War II-era wooden hangar that was built to house military blimps based in Southern California, and authorities said the blaze could burn for days.

The Orange County Fire Authority said in a social media post that allowing the structure to collapse was the only way to fight the inferno, which was reported around 1 a.m. The cause was under investigation.

The agency released video of flames racing along the curved roof, which fell apart in sections. A huge plume of dark smoke was visible for miles around.

Firefighting Strategy

“Due to the dynamic nature of the fire, and the imminent danger of collapse, we have determined the most operationally sound method is to allow the structure to collapse, at which point ground crews can move in closer, and aggressively work to extinguish the fire,” the Fire Authority said.

Fire Chief Brian Fennessy said no injuries were reported. The fire smoldered into the evening.

Historical Significance

The historic hangar was one of two built in 1942 for the U.S. Navy in the city of Tustin, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles. At the time, the Navy used lighter-than-air ships for patrol and antisubmarine defense.

According to the city, the hangars are 17 stories high, more than 1,000 feet (305 meters) long and 300 feet (91.4 meters) wide, putting them among the largest wooden structures ever built. The destroyed structure was known as the north hangar.

The Navy installation became a Marine Corps air station in the 1950s and closed in 1999. Fennessy said his agency was in contact with the Navy, which still owns the property.

Hollywood productions have used the hangars for TV shows and movies including “JAG,” “The X Files” and “Pearl Harbor,” and they’ve also appeared in commercials. In 1993, the site was listed by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the historic civil engineering landmarks of the 20th century.

“With all that in mind, it’s a sad day for the city of Tustin and all of Orange County,” Fennessy said. “But we are fortunate that no injuries have been reported and we are in a position to extinguish the blaze without putting firefighters at risk, albeit several days.”

The north hangar had been shuttered since it sustained roof damage during an October 2013 windstorm, according to the city.

 

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

DON'T MISS

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

DON'T MISS

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

DON'T MISS

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

DON'T MISS

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

DON'T MISS

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

DON'T MISS

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

DON'T MISS

Israeli Settlers Rampage Through a West Bank Village, Killing 1 Palestinian and Wounding 25

DON'T MISS

US Intelligence Finding Shows China Surging Equipment Sales to Russia to Help War Effort in Ukraine

DON'T MISS

From Tragedy to Triumph: The Land Before Time Litter’s Journey

UP NEXT

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

UP NEXT

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

UP NEXT

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

UP NEXT

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

UP NEXT

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

UP NEXT

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

UP NEXT

Israeli Settlers Rampage Through a West Bank Village, Killing 1 Palestinian and Wounding 25

UP NEXT

US Intelligence Finding Shows China Surging Equipment Sales to Russia to Help War Effort in Ukraine

UP NEXT

From Tragedy to Triumph: The Land Before Time Litter’s Journey

UP NEXT

Oakland Officials Vote to Include ‘San Francisco’ in Airport’s Name

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

14 hours ago

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

14 hours ago

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

15 hours ago

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

15 hours ago

Israeli Settlers Rampage Through a West Bank Village, Killing 1 Palestinian and Wounding 25

17 hours ago

US Intelligence Finding Shows China Surging Equipment Sales to Russia to Help War Effort in Ukraine

17 hours ago

From Tragedy to Triumph: The Land Before Time Litter’s Journey

19 hours ago

Oakland Officials Vote to Include ‘San Francisco’ in Airport’s Name

19 hours ago

Several Writers Decline Recognition From PEN America in Protest Over Its Israel-Hamas War Stance

19 hours ago

US Consumer Sentiment Falls Slightly as Outlook for Inflation Worsens

20 hours ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

DEIR AL BALAH, Gaza Strip — It was hours after sundown when the eight aid trucks drove from the makeshift jetty, cobbled together from tons ...

13 mins ago

13 mins ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

12 hours ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

13 hours ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

14 hours ago

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

14 hours ago

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

15 hours ago

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

15 hours ago

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

17 hours ago

Israeli Settlers Rampage Through a West Bank Village, Killing 1 Palestinian and Wounding 25

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend