Hangar, 3 planes lost in weekend blaze at airpark - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Hangar, 3 planes lost in weekend blaze at airpark

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Posted: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 12:00 am

A building consumed in a Saturday night blaze in La Cholla Airpark has been called a complete loss.

"The structure is still standing but suffered severe damage," said John Sullivan, community services division chief with the Golder Ranch Fire District.

The building lost in the blaze, on the 13000 block of North Piper Drive, was an 8,000-sqaure-foot steel airplane hangar. Inside the hangar three airplanes, a pickup truck and an all-terrain vehicle were destroyed.

The hangar was located on a residential lot in the airpark adjacent to a home. The house was not damaged in the fire.

Sullivan said Golder Ranch was working with the owner's insurance company to estimate the value of the property that was lost.

"It's still an open investigation," Sullivan said.

At this time, fire officials say there doesn't appear to be anything suspicious about the fire.

No one was seriously hurt in the blaze, though two people were treated for minor injuries at the scene.

Sullivan said when firefighters arrived on the scene, one person was attempting to fight the fire with a garden hose. At least 30 firefighters helped put out the blaze.

Golder Ranch was notified of the fire by a fire alarm system installed in the hangar. The building did not have fire sprinklers or a suppression system.

Commercial buildings and residential structures in Oro Valley that exceed 3,600 square feet are required to have fire sprinkler systems, with some exceptions. Also, additions to residential structures that increase the size by more than 25 percent may be required to have sprinkler systems.

Requirements for buildings in La Cholla Airpark differ from the rest of Oro Valley. Those requirements were defined in the annexation agreement struck between the town and residents of La Cholla Airpark in 2005.

Sullivan said owners of airpark hangars can chose to have full sprinkler systems, fire hydrants installed nearby, or fire alarm systems.

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