Historic WWII Hanger Destroyed By Fire

Firefighters in Orange County, Southern California, demolished a giant blimp hangar on Tuesday morning. The hangar was initially constructed during World War II and later appeared in movies and television shows.

At about 1 a.m., firefighters were dispatched to the Warner and Armstrong Avenue location of the former Marine Corps Air Station Tustin.

The 17-story wooden building measured over 1,000 feet in length and 300 feet in width, and it housed blimps that scouted the U.S. coast during wartime. Located about 35 miles southeast of Los Angeles, the city of Tustin is home to one of two hangars constructed in 1942 for the United States Navy.

Smoke from the hangar could be seen for miles as the firefighters battled to put out the blaze. Allowing the structure to collapse so ground firefighters could go closer and more aggressively attack the fire was deemed by the Orange County Fire Authority to be the best operationally sound technique for quelling the blaze.

The hangars are still two of the most significant wooden structures ever erected, standing 17 stories high, more than 1,000 feet long, and 300 feet wide.

Films and TV series like “JAG,” “The X Files,” and “Pearl Harbor” have all made use of the hangars because they formerly held blimps utilized in WWII.

Experts in determining the cause of fires were dispatched, and residents were warned to stay away. Although the smoke is only now being felt locally, strong Santa Ana winds are forecast for Wednesday morning, which may blow any lingering smoke toward the southwest.

Authorities advised residents of areas hit hardest by windblown dust or ash to stay indoors as much as possible, avoid going outdoors, and use air conditioning or air purifiers if they had them. Officials recommend that residents refrain from using wood in outdoor fires.