Historic complex that includes a former aircraft factory founded by the Wright Brothers at Dayton, Ohio It was damaged in a fire early Sunday morning.
Fire crews She was on the scene by 2:30 am and found flames had engulfed the compound. Crews used hoses to spray water on the flames and used aerial ladders to get water into holes in the roof.
Firefighters battled the flames the next afternoon. Black smoke continued to pour from a group of hangar buildings, including the historic Wright Brothers aircraft factory The Dayton Daily News reported that hangars and flames could be seen on the back side of the hangars.
The structure in question is listed on the National Historic Register as the first aircraft manufacturing facility founded by brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright, who conducted the first successful manned aircraft flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903, Capt. Brad French of the Dayton Fire Department said.
“We are deeply saddened by the fire that damaged the historic Wright Aircraft Factory, the first purpose-built buildings for the aviation industry,” McKinsey Whitmer, executive director of the National Aviation Heritage District, said in a Facebook post.
Formed by the Wright brothers in November 1909, the Wright Company has produced about 120 aircraft in 13 different models, according to the National Aviation Heritage District. She said the aircraft production buildings were constructed in 1910 and 1911.
Officials said the group worked to preserve and restore the plant as a site of the Dayton National Historic Park, “continuing the story of the Wright brothers’ invention, development and commercialization in Dayton.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation and the damage estimate has not been released yet.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.