GRASS VALLEY, Calif. April 18, 2018 – A fire in the hangar of Sierra Mountain Aviation at the Nevada County Airport has claimed one life and caused severe damage to the contents of the large hangar.
Reported around 8:30 am, the fire was contained to the single hangar, thanks to the sprinkler system activating and most importantly the numerous fire resources on scene.
According to witnesses a loud bang or explosion was heard and thick smoke started to billow out immediately.
The Emergency Command Center located just a few hundred yards away immediately dispatched a full contingent of engines from all fire departments in the area.
Firefighters arrived within minutes of the 911 dispatch and began evacuating the adjacent hangar while attacking the fire. They extricated one person from the burning hangar and another person who was attempting to reach the victim.
The hangar is surrounded by several large hangars, smaller individual plane hangars and the usual trappings of an airport – fuel tanks, propane tanks and other highly flammable items. Several of the planes in adjacent hangars were out in the open and being inspected by anxious owners after firefighters contained the blaze.
The fire was knocked down within 10 minutes and firefighters ventilated the building by cutting through the hangar door.
Less than an hour after the first dispatch, prevention officers started their investigation into the cause of the fire. An OSHA investigator is expected to join them today.
Several of the planes in the hangar were rare antiques, some irreplaceable.
Editor’s note: The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of their family. We offer our sincere condolences to their family, friends and the whole airport community.