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Massive Fire Destroys One Of Two Historic Blimp Hangars At The Former Marine Corps


Witnesses referred to the Tuesday fire at the former Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin as “tragic” and “disappointing,” as it completely destroyed one of the two historic blimp hangars.

The buildings, which were 300 feet wide and more than 17 stories high, were recognized as historic civil engineering landmarks of the 20th century. Previously, they had been home to blimps used in World War II. They had appeared in several TV series and motion pictures, such as “Star Trek,” “JAG,” “The X Files,” “Austin Powers,” and “Pearl Harbor.”

According to the Orange County Fire Authority, when crews arrived on the scene at around one in the morning, they discovered flames shooting through the wooden building’s roof near the intersection of Valencia Avenue and Armstrong Road.

Helicopters typically dispatched to combat wildfires were brought in to assist in containing the blaze, which persisted into Tuesday afternoon before being deemed under control at approximately 10 p.m.

It is difficult for fire crews to obtain the water supply they need to put out the flames because the base is no longer in use and the building’s water supply has been turned off.

The Tustin PD’s major crime investigators have started looking into potential fire causes.

The wooden structure is 300 feet wide, over 1,000 feet long, and 17 stories tall. Built in 1942, its original purpose was to house the large blimps that the US Navy used to search for enemy submarines along the southern California coast during World War II.

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