Beale forms team to investigate building fire
A fire at Beale Air Force Base which sparked on Monday in a civil engineering building flared up again Wednesday as an investigative team was formed to determine the cause.
"The fire's 100 percent contained, but it did start back up and it's still a pretty smoky scene," Capt. Brian Wagner reported.
The fire started around 2:30 p.m. Monday and eventually razed the two-story, 38,000-square-foot building which was erected in the 1940s.
Damage estimates have been placed at more than $10 million and that number could climb, Wagner said.
One unidentified firefighter suffered minor injuries in the blaze.
US Air Force Air Combat Command on Wednesday began assembling a team to investigate the fire.
US Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, pledged support on Wednesday to help the base find emergency rebuilding funds. Garamendi's district includes Yuba and Sutter counties.
"This really needs to be a priority project," he told the Appeal-Democrat. "Beale Air Force Base is crucial to America's security, it's fundamental to our defense."
Garamendi hopes to find funding first through the US Defense Department emergency fund, which he said exists for these situations. Failing that, the congressman said, he would seek the money as part of a rider to another bill or through next year's National Defense Authorization Act.
Garamendi estimated rebuilding costs at $10 million to $20 million.
The fire displaced more than 200 workers and authorities are scrambling to find temporary work locations for those employees.