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New floating fire station arrives in San Francisco

The nearly 15,000-square-foot Fireboat Station 35 will house three fireboats and rescue watercraft


Photo/San Francisco Fire Department

Michael Williams
San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — A huge floating fire station made its permanent home in San Francisco early Thursday morning.

The new Fireboat Station 35 will house the San Francisco Fire Department’s three fireboats and rescue watercraft, replacing the 105-year-old fire station on the Embarcadero, according to the city’s public works department. The existing building is “vastly undersized” to meet the fire department’s needs and does not meet seismic-safety standards.

The 14,900-square-foot station is secured by four 150-foot verticle steel pipe guides just north of the Bay Bridge. The floating structure is thought to be less susceptible to earthquakes and sea-level rise.

San Francisco Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson said in a statement that disasters like the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the massive fire that destroyed a warehouse on Pier 45 in May, and constant water rescues performed by the department demonstrate the importance of the new station.

“The project will provide new and upgraded infrastructure and facilities for emergency equipment and personnel that’s needed to optimize the critical work they perform as first responders,” Nicholson said.

The floating station on Thursday morning was transported from just off Treasure Island, where it was constructed on a 96-by-173-foot steel frame built in Shanghai, the Public Works Department said. Guided by two tug boats, it made its voyage about 2 a.m., when tides were right to allow it to be moved across San Francisco Bay.

The $39.9 million station is funded by the Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response bond passed by San Francisco voters in 2014.

The existing Fire Station 35 building will be used to house equipment and a fire engine.


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