A fire ripped through a fire station in Buena Park early Thursday and was still smoldering nearly eight hours later.
The blaze broke out around 3:30 a.m. at the station on the 800 block of Western Avenue, according to Captain Larry Kurtz, spokesman of the Orange County Fire Authority. Five firefighters, including the battalion chief, were asleep at the station when they heard an explosion coming from the apparatus room where they park engines and vehicles.
The fire was upgraded to a two-alarm blaze and crews were forced to go to "defensive mode," Kurtz said. Over 60 firefighters were battling the flames.
The flames spread from the first floor, reached to the bedrooms on the second floor, and moved all the way up to the attic.
Although crews had made significant progress by 11:30 a.m. Thursday, they were not declaring it a knock down because of hot spots burning under layers of rubble.
All firefighters that were in the station made it out of the building safely, according to the OCFA.
The fire destroyed three vehicles, including a one million dollar ladder truck. Crews attempted to salvage computers and other sensitive documents.
Officials were thankful that everyone made it out alive, but were devastated to see their 50-year-old fire station burn.
"You know the fire station is where they live when they're away from their families, and so certainly their personal effects and those things were a loss, and so for us, all the effects, all of the memorabilia over the last several decades is all part of this station and for us it's a tremendous loss," said Dave Spencer of the Orange County Fire Authority.
All crews were forced out of the building after officials said the integrity of the structure was compromised. The flames and the weight of the water used to douse the blaze part of the roof to collapse.
The cause of the fire was still under investigation Thursday morning.
Orange County fire officials said the fire has not caused interruptions in services for local residents and nearby businesses.