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When did the fire happen at New Orleans Naval Support Activity Station? 

Blake Pontchartrain: The New Orleans N.O. It All

Dear Blake,

When did the fire happen at New Orleans Naval Support Activity Station?

Dear Reader,

  Two fires occurred in the late 1970s, before the New Orleans Fire Department kept records on every fire. Additionally, the New Orleans Naval Support Activity Station (NSAS) went through several different hands in the military over the years, and requests for records of the fire from the military have gone unanswered. However, a A 1977 article in The Times-Picayune mentions a three-alarm fire at the base on Dec. 19, 1976, which damaged buildings housing a nursery, chapel and movie theater. The newspaper reported another fire — on Dec. 31, 1976 — damaged a building that contained records. A spokesman for the NOFD could not confirm the dates or on which base or bases the fires occurred.

  The NSAS originally was located on both sides of the Mississippi River, one complex in Algiers and another in Bywater. The Algiers station was established in the early 1900s, and during World War I, the Army built a quartermaster depot at the Bywater station, also known as the Port of Embarkation.

  The Navy took control of the Bywater station in 1966, and the complexes on both sides of the river became known as the New Orleans NSAS, a national headquarters for the Navy Reserve and Marine Corps Reserve.

  In 2005, the military decided the NSAS would close, which it did in August 2011.

  Last year, the Navy gave part of the Algiers complex to the Algiers Development District Board of Commissioners, which is developing Federal City. The city of New Orleans bought the Bywater station from the Navy and plans to create an International Resilience Center for disaster management and resilience following disasters.

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