Four-alarm fire forces several street closures

IRVINE — A four-alarm fire in a large industrial building near Red Hill Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard required about 80 firefighters to put it out Saturday morning and forced police to close off several streets in the area.

Orange County firefighters were called to Trantronics, Inc., 1822 Langley Avenue, at about 11:30 a.m. and got there within four minutes, said Orange County Fire Authority Battalion Chief Kris Concepcion.

By the time emergency personnel arrived, the blaze was engulfing the building, Concepcion said. Flames had burned through the roof and officials said the building appeared on the brink of collapse, which kept firefighters from going inside and fighting the flames from the inside out.

The first people on scene immediately called for a second alarm. The call eventually increased to a four-alarm fire, meaning up to 80 firefighters were on scene to fight the flames.

Unable to go inside the building, firefighters scaled ladders towering over the 100,000-square foot building and blasted water inside from all angles with the help of Newport Beach and Santa Ana crews. Plumes of black and white smoke filled the sky and could be seen for miles in all directions.

Irvine police closed off Langley and two parallel streets, McGaw Avenue and Kettering, between Armstrong and Gilette avenues while crews tried to extinguish the blaze. Authorities warned onlookers to avoid the smoke and the water flowing from the building because they had not determined if it was toxic or not. Trantronics manufactures electronics hardware, such as X-ray machines and computer equipment, Concepcion said. The smell of burning and metal plastic filled the air.

The flames were extinguished by 1:30 p.m., authorities said. No injuries were reported and no one had been inside the building since 6 p.m. Friday, Concepcion said.

The fire's cause and damage to the building won't be determined until Sunday at the earliest, he said.

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