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US Navy to send $27 million to Tustin after disastrous hangar fire

US Navy promises to send $27 million to help with Tustin hangar fire cleanup
US Navy promises to send $27 million to help with Tustin hangar fire cleanup 02:27

Months after a massive fire at a Navy hangar fouled the air in Tustin, people living there are still uneasy about what's been left behind.

"What are they doing?" resident Darlene Sparks said. "I think, as residents, we want to know what they are doing with this structure."

Sparks lives directly across the street from the massive Tustin hangar that burned last November, sending plumes of black smoke and debris into the air. 

"I'd like to know when they are going to inspect our properties thoroughly inside our attics and our airconditioning units and go through our gutters," Sparks said. "Give us some updates. The biggest thing has been the lack of communication."

The US Navy, which owns the hangar, has committed an additional $27 million to the city of Tustin to help catch up on payments owed to contractors, according to the mayor. Work has already been done to clean up the site and nearby neighborhood, deconstruct the hangar and for air monitoring. Mayor Austin Lumbard said the new funding strengthened the city's confidence in recovering from the tragic event. 

"And there's still a lack of transparency regarding how much money has been committed. Where?" Tustin resident Deniz Erkan said.

Erkan is on the Columbus Square community crisis response committee. 

"How much has been spent?" Erkan added. "How much is going to be received from the Navy or other sources? Once again, how is that money going to be spent on us residents?"

A total of $88 million has been promised from the Navy. Officials said they have not determined what the next steps are as far as addressing neighbors concerns.

"The high wind that's going to pick up soon with the heatwave," resident Kevin Kang said. "We do have concern of whether the debris is going to come up again."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The Navy and city leaders haven't decided what to do with what's left of the hangar or what will eventually become of the property.

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