Major Disney Filming Spot Goes Up in Flames

Tustin Hangar fire Disney filming
Credit: Orange County Fire Authority

The magic of movies is that they can transport you to places you’ve never even dreamed of — places like the Emerald City, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the Center of the Earth, and even far away planets like Mars. Of course, since the Emerald City in Oz doesn’t exist, and we can’t get to the center of the Earth, these incredible locations are created in massive studios.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Cancels New 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Show

One of the most popular places for studios to film big scenes is at the Tustin Air Base. Located in Tustin, California, the Tustin Air Base was built in 1942 and used to store and maintain blimps that were used during World War II. The Tustin Air Base remained operational until 1993 when it was officially decommissioned.

Tustin Air Force Base

Credit: City of Tustin

Now, major studios use the huge hangars on the base to film television shows, movies, and commercials. This includes Disney.

Sadly, on November 7, alarms began blaring and firefighters rushed to the base. According to reports, firefighters were called to the base just before 1 o’clock in the morning. When they arrived, they encountered a massive fire burning in the north hangar.

Tustin Hangar Fire

Credit: Sam Carter Twitter

Thankfully, firefighters were able to put out most of the Tustin Hangar blaze and suppress the massive flames. But the structure appears to be a complete loss.

Tustin-Firefighters are on scene of the former Tustin Air Base for a hangar fire.

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 hangar continues to burn with collapse of sections at a time. Because of extremely dangerous conditions, firefighters will monitor to ensure the fire remains contained. Firefighters will remain on scene and in the area throughout the day. Smoke will be seen – if you smell smoke or are sensitive to it, please close your doors and windows.

Orange County Fire Chief Brian Fennessy said that the best course of action, now that the imminent danger is quashed, is to let the fire burn itself out. Firefighters are standing guard at the historic hangar in case things get out of control again. The Chief also admitted that, because of the extensive damage, the hangar will most likely need to be demolished.

Tustin Hangar Fire

Credit: Sam Carter Twitter

In addition to three different fire departments being needed to help diminish the inferno, helicopters were also called in. The helicopters were able to drop approximately 3,000 gallons of water at a time.

At this time, the cause of the blaze has not been determined, and arson investigators have been called in to examine the scene once it is safe for them to approach.

The QRF took immediate action to support the Tustin Marine Air Station hangar fire last night. Watch as one of Coulson’s helitankers makes a nighttime drop. #coulsonaviation #ch47 #aerialfirefighting

The Tustin Hangars have been used in a number of Hollywood productions, including JAG, The X-Files, Austin Powers, and Pearl Harbor.

Remember those Main Street Electrical Parade commercials that Disney created to get people excited about the parade’s return? Those were filmed at the Tustin Air Base hangars.


About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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