SF pier fire continues to burn; SS Jeremiah O’Brien moved

Moving the World War II-era ship allows fire boats better access to control flare-ups at the pier


By Janelle Foskett

The massive fire that destroyed a warehouse on San Francisco’s Pier 45 was contained within several hours on May 23, but hot spots continue to smolder, resulting in occasional flare-ups of the fire.

Lt. Jonathan Baxter, the San Francisco Fire Department Homeland Security Operations and Public Information Officer, shared with FireRescue1.com that firefighters are actively monitoring the pier and positioned to knock down flare-ups. 

“We do continue to have three areas of this pier that continue to burn, whether they started off as hot spots and then flare-ups and then continue to progressively come back to be defiant in our attempts to extinguish them,” Baxter said.

Baxter also shared that the SS Jeremiah O’Brien – the World War II-era ship that firefighters successfully saved in the fire fight – was moved on Tuesday to Pier 35 North allow for safer operations and evaluation of the pier.

“This gives us that whole east side [of the pier] to place our water boats closer to get some water into those areas,” he said.

San Francisco’s KPIX video footage shows boats tugging the SS Jeremiah O’Brien to Pier 35.

San Francisco’s newest fireboat – Fireboat 3 – is credited with saving the SS Jeremiah O’Brien during the intense warehouse fire.

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