TUSTIN, Calif.—Firefighters continue to battle a stubborn fire at a hangar at the former Tustin Air Base in Tustin Nov. 7.
Fire crews responded after 1:30 a.m. to Valencia Ave. and Armstrong Road where they found massive flames bursting through the roof of the wooden building, according to the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA).
Pieces of the roof were seen slowly falling to the ground as the fire continued to burn. The fire authority called in a helicopter overnight to help put out the blaze. Motorists were asked to avoid the area.
“Due to the dynamic nature of the fire, and the imminent danger of collapse, we have determined the most operationally sound method is to allow the structure to collapse, at which point ground crews can move in closer, and aggressively work to extinguish the fire,” the OCFA said in a statement around daybreak.
Arson investigators were sent to the scene to determine the cause of the fire.
The fire is in a facility where hangars once housed blimps used in World War II. They stand 17 stories high, are over 1,000 feet long and 300 feet wide. They were—and still are—two of the largest wooden structures ever built, according to the website Tustin Hangars.
The historic hangars have been featured in television and films, including “JAG,” “The X Files,” “Austin Powers,” “Pearl Harbor,” and “Star Trek.”
A historic blimp hangar burns in Tustin, Calif., on Nov. 7, 2023. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)