When firefighters arrived on the scene the night the hangar fire broke out at the long-closed Tustin Marine Corps Air Station, they encountered fire hydrants that didn't work and a blaze they couldn't extinguish before it burned through nearly all of the enormous structure.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation and cleanup efforts continue in the neighborhoods around the north hangar. This week, the Navy committed $10 million more to the city toward efforts and officials said they are close on a contract to address the hangar's remains.
Firefighters were first dispatched to the historic hangar at 12:53 a.m. on Nov. 7. The fire, according to Orange County Fire Authority incident reports, was estimated to be about the size of a vehicle. About 18 minutes later, firefighters confirmed that no fire hydrants inside the hangar area were working and soon it became a three-alarm fire, according to the reports.
“It is atypical and unexpected for fire hydrants to be out of service unless there is some identified issue that has been communicated,” Orange County Fire Authority officials said in statement Friday in response to questions about the incident reports. “Most fire engines carry 500 gallons of water, and as firefighters utilize that supply at approximately 150 gallons-a-minute, supplemental water sources such as working fire hydrants can be critical to fire suppression.”
More than 70…