Local

San Francisco Pier 29 Fire Damage Tops $2 Million

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Pier 29

A fire burns through the roof of Pier 29 in San Francisco, June 20, 2012. (CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The four-alarm fire at San Francisco’s Pier 29 on Wednesday afternoon caused nearly $2.4 million in damage and cut power to neighboring businesses.

The blaze was reported at about 1:50 p.m. at the two-story waterfront building located at the intersection of The Embarcadero, Sansome and Chestnut streets. The building was vacant and under construction in preparation for the America’s Cup sailing race in 2013.

Firefighters spent more than two hours attacking the fire from several angles, including from a fireboat on the Bay, before extinguishing the flames at 3:59 p.m., fire officials said.

The cause of the blaze had not been determined, but a fire investigator has estimated the damage to the structure at $2.37 million, fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.

Because the Port uses power to give electricity to Piers 31 and 33, those piers lost power.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

After 24 hours with no electricity, Bill Dawson, who owns Seafood Suppliers Inc. on Pier 33, was concerned with his perishable products.

“We’re supplying all of the seafood distributors in San Francisco and the Bay Area that go mostly to restaurants,” he said. “It’s a pretty important cog in the wheel of seafood distribution for our area.”

Port officials said the plan is to run Piers 31 and 33 on generator power until a more permanent fix is made.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Pier 29 is slated to house the operations staging area for the America’s Cup regatta, according to Monique Moyer, executive director of the Port of San Francisco.

Talmadge said the fire investigator was unable to fully examine the building on Wednesday night because it had not been deemed structurally sound, but that investigators would be going back to the scene today to try to determine the cause.

Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said Wednesday that a preliminary investigation indicated that construction workers may have been in the building prior to the fire, but it was too early to determine whether any construction work sparked the blaze.

The fire caused the closure of several blocks of The Embarcadero for hours on Wednesday, and interrupted service on San Francisco Municipal Railway’s F-Market & Wharves streetcar line. Service resumed early Thursday morning.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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