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Fri, Nov 10, 2023

SoCal WWII Blimp Hangar Goes Up in Flames

More History Gone to Dust in Another Hangar Blaze

The Orange County Fire Authority said a fire had destroyed a large World War II-era hangar once used to house military blimps, sadly admitting the best way to combat the blaze was to let it burn out of its own volition.

The Fire Authority said the fire died down after the facility collapsed around 1 in the morning on November 7th, a somewhat speedy end to the all-lumber hangars. Each was 17 stories high, 1,000 feet long, and 300 feet wide, making them some of the largest wooden structures in the region. The hangars currently belong to the US Navy, having passed through to Marine Corps operation after the war until 1999.

The destroyed hangars might be somewhat familiar to some, given their not infrequent appearances in Hollywood media. Their home in Tustin, Los Angeles made them a popular location for series like "JAG", "The X Files", and some larger pieces like "Pearl Harbor".

“With all that in mind, it’s a sad day for the city of Tustin and all of Orange County,” said fire chief Brian Fennessy. “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.”

Interestingly, the burned hangar has been shuttered since a portion of the roof was damaged in October of 2013. Since then, the Navy has done little more than stabilize the roof, with some amount of consideration given by the local community to what would be done with the hangar plot. Now that the rest of the structure is gone, it appears the locals can get back to planning uninhibited.



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