Raging Fireplace Destroys Huge World Conflict II-Period Blimp Hangar in Southern California

TUSTIN, Calif. — A raging fireplace Tuesday destroyed an enormous World Conflict II-era picket hangar that was constructed to deal with navy blimps primarily based in Southern California, and authorities mentioned the blaze might burn for days.

The Orange County Fireplace Authority mentioned in a social media submit that permitting the construction to break down was the one method to battle the inferno, which was reported round 1 a.m. The trigger was beneath investigation.

The company launched video of flames racing alongside the curved roof, which fell aside in sections. An enormous plume of darkish smoke was seen for miles round.

“As a result of dynamic nature of the hearth, and the approaching hazard of collapse, now we have decided essentially the most operationally sound methodology is to permit the construction to break down, at which level floor crews can transfer in nearer, and aggressively work to extinguish the hearth,” the Fireplace Authority mentioned.

Fireplace Chief Brian Fennessy mentioned no accidents have been reported. The hearth smoldered into the night.

The historic hangar was one among two inbuilt 1942 for the U.S. Navy within the metropolis of Tustin, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles. On the time, the Navy used lighter-than-air ships for patrol and antisubmarine protection.

In response to town, the hangars are 17 tales excessive, greater than 1,000 ft (305 meters) lengthy and 300 ft (91.4 meters) extensive, placing them among the many largest picket constructions ever constructed. The destroyed construction was often known as the north hangar.

The Navy set up turned a Marine Corps air station within the Nineteen Fifties and closed in 1999. Fennessy mentioned his company was in touch with the Navy, which nonetheless owns the property.

Hollywood productions have used the hangars for TV exhibits and flicks together with “JAG,” “The X Recordsdata” and “Pearl Harbor,” they usually’ve additionally appeared in commercials. In 1993, the positioning was listed by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of many historic civil engineering landmarks of the twentieth century.

“With all that in thoughts, it is a unhappy day for town of Tustin and all of Orange County,” Fennessy mentioned. “However we’re lucky that no accidents have been reported and we’re ready to extinguish the blaze with out placing firefighters in danger, albeit a number of days.”

The north hangar had been shuttered because it sustained roof harm throughout an October 2013 windstorm, in keeping with town.

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