2nd MAW headquarters badly damaged by fire
By Trista Talton - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Sep 11, 2007 18:27:56 EDT

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — The building that the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing headquarters has called home for more than 60 years was heavily damaged by a fire Saturday.

Flames ravaged the second story of Building 198 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., but the structure remains standing, air station spokesman Master Sgt. Lawrence Torres said.

The building’s duty officer called the air station fire department at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday to report that he smelled smoke, Torres said. The fire department responded but did not locate smoke or a fire at that time.

Four people were in the building when the fire broke out just before midnight, Torres said. The Cherry Point Fire Department and six civilian fire stations responded and battled the blaze for more than three hours. No one was injured.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but officials said they don’t expect to uncover anything criminal.

“It’s not suspicious at all,” Torres said.

The War World II-era building was also the headquarters for the air station and housed the offices of Maj. Gen. Kenneth Glueck, the wing commander; Col. Francis Bottorff, the air station commanding officer; and the station’s public affairs department.

Marines and civilians who worked in the building have been spread out to offices around the air station. Torres said officials are determining whether to bring in trailers as temporary work spaces.

“They’re still looking at structural damage to see if they want to rebuild,” he said.

“Everybody’s been coming together,” Torres said. “It’s better than I’ve seen in exercises, even. We’ve trained for stuff like this, so it was a very simple transition. Everybody’s just moving parts.”

Displaced workers have already been supplied with new computers, he said.