Flare-ups and toxic air from last week’s destructive hangar fire in Tustin continue to cause trouble for nearby residents.
The City of Tustin took to X, formerly Twitter, to confirm that the western wall of the 17-story building reignited Sunday night. Orange County Fire Authority personnel remained on the scene keeping watch of the blaze on Monday morning, with one firefighter telling KTLA 5’s Annie Rose Ramos that all they could do was let it burn out.
Schools and daycare centers in the area, which were closed on Thursday due to the potentially toxic air and on Friday for Veterans Day, remain closed on Monday, officials said. Residents are being advised to remain in their homes if possible.
Nearly 100 hazmat removal personnel began debris removal on Valencia Avenue on Sunday morning, and the street remains closed as more potentially dangerous materials are removed.
It is expected that up to 200 more disaster relief professionals will arrive on scene Monday, officials said.
People who live nearby expressed concern over the amount of debris spread around their neighborhood and the toxic air they may be breathing, especially with more active flare-ups.
“There’s ash falling every day,” said Dale Starczewsky, a Tustin resident. “It’s more than asbestos; there’s a lot going on in that building and we don’t know what it is.”
A woman who had recently returned from out of town told KTLA 5’s Carlos Saucedo on Sunday night that within an hour of being home, she already begun to lose her voice and develop a headache.
She also said she was worried for her husband and elderly mother, both of whom have underlying health conditions.
Materials collected shortly after the fire broke out tested positive for asbestos, a substance that could cause cancer and other health problems.
Since then, Tustin officials have emphasized even more how dangerous the materials are, especially if they are interacted with.
“While we don’t know if all the debris has asbestos, [we are] siding on the err of caution,” Tustin Police Department Lieutenant Ryan Coe said. “If you see debris, do not touch it, don’t disturb it.”
Health officials are also warning residents about the dangers of additional flare-ups and are reminding them to control the airflow into their homes.
“Right now, with the flareup, there is the potential for more asbestos and other heavy metals to be released into the air,” said Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, a health officer with the Orange County Health Care Agency. “Hopefully most people are updating their filters, and they also need to make sure that it’s only circulating indoor air and not pulling outside air in.”
Sunday night’s fire on the western side of the hangar comes just one day after another flare-up reignited above the northside doors of Hangar 1. The blaze remains active through 7 a.m.
Click here to access the City of Tustin’s newly launched hangar fire resource page.