Fire at Michoud facility started in warehouse being prepped for filming

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wwltv.com

Posted on November 20, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 21 at 9:28 AM

WWLTV.com
Email: webteam@wwltv.com | Twitter: @WWLTV

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans firefighters battled a three-alarm blaze on the property of the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in N.O. East.

The fire happened at the southern end at Building 420 on the facility's campus around 8:20 p.m.

"We had some sort of fire in one of our outlying buildings," said Malcolm Wood, deputy chief operating officer at the Michoud facility. "It did create a lot of smoke. The New Orleans Fire Department responded just in an outstanding manner."

The NOFD maintains Engine Company 45 at the facility in order to respond quickly to emergency situations.

The facility hadn't been informed of exactly what caused the fire, but there were no injuries, Wood said. NASA flight hardware was not involved and there was no structural damage to the building, according to officials.

Wood said there were no health concerns.

The building was to be used by film crews in the future, Wood said. They were in the process of doing sound-proofing.

"In that facility, it was actually a very clean facility. There was hardly anything in it. It's just a big open area where they were beginning to do the sound-proofing, and then they were going to start building some stages."

The commercial tenant was doing construction work in the area where the blaze ignited, Michoud officials said.

Large insulation-type pallets were found burning, which spread to insulation installed on the walls.

The size of the structure, lack of natural ventilation and height of the walls aided in the difficulty firefighters experienced in determining the fire's full extent, NOFD said.

Thermal imaging cameras were used in an attempt to locate hot spots inside the structure's walls.

The fire was under control by 11:31 p.m. with the aide of 68 firefighters carried by 21 NOFD units.

The American Red Cross has sent in two disaster relief truck to support emergency responders on scene or anyone who might possibly be injured, a spokeswoman said.

Entergy was also called to the scene.

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