Treasure Island fire guts warehouse
Fire crews battle a three-alarm fire at an abandoned warehouse
on Treasure Island.
Photos by Mark Grissom, special to Fog City Journal
By Caitlin Cassady
May 17, 2007
A three-alarm fire in a Treasure Island warehouse was contained
around 1 a.m., San Francisco Fire Lt. Ken Smith said this morning.
Fire crews battled the flames for around an hour and 40 minutes,
according to Smith, and 130 fire personnel were at the warehouse
to help fight the fire. The one-story wood-framed building is
located at the intersection of Avenue H and Fifth Avenue.
Two fire units stationed on Treasure Island responded to the
flames Wednesday around 11:15 p.m. and immediately upgraded the
fire to a two-alarm. Six fire units stationed within San Francisco
joined the crews on the island and the fire was upgraded to a
three-alarm at 11:48 p.m., Smith said.
Fire crews were joined by the San Francisco fireboat, because
there was not enough water pressure on the island to supply the
six rigs that were fighting the flames, Smith said. San Francisco's
portable pressure system was enabled so that fire trucks could
hook up to hydrant junctures that provided water, which was being
pumped directly out of the bay through the five-inch hose.
"The portable system takes a long time to set up, but once
it is active it's a very effective way to fight fires,'' Smith
This is the first time that fire crews have had to use the five-inch
portable system since the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Fire
crews were in defensive mode, Smith said, because the warehouse
was abandoned and there were no other buildings that were in danger.
"We aren't used to letting a fire burn freely in San Francisco,
because there are so many buildings and people, but in this case
it was better to let the building burn than risk the lives of
firefighters,'' Smith said.
Parts of the building are still standing, but most of the roof
has collapsed, according to Smith. Crews will be at the warehouse
all night to ensure that the fire is completely put out.
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