An early morning fire tore through one of the two historic World War 2 blimp hangars in Tustin overnight. The fire was reported at 12:53 a.m. and was quickly upgraded to 3 alarms by the first arriving Orange County Fire Authority units.
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but it appears that it may have started near the bottom of the hangar on the west side and quickly spread upwards to the roof.
Two OCFA helicopters made dozens of water drops on the roof as it was too high to be reached by the master streams from the OCFA ladder trucks. Numerous collapses of the blimp structure made it impossible for Firefighters to enter the structure and the fire was fought defensively from the exterior rather than offensively from the interior.
The hangar that caught fire had deteriorated significantly over the years and had serious structural issues and was very unlikely to ever have been restored or used again. The remaining hangar is in stable condition and could someday be restored and repurposed. Both hangars are made almost entirely of wood and are on the Register of Historic Places.
The OCFA was assisted in fighting the fire by Firefighters from Orange, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, and Huntington Beach.