Cause behind $2M fire at Pier 29 investigated 

click to enlarge Aftermath: Crews work on Pier 29 on Thursday a day after a fire ripped through the structure. The building is still part of plans for the America’s Cup yacht race. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner
  • Aftermath: Crews work on Pier 29 on Thursday a day after a fire ripped through the structure. The building is still part of plans for the America’s Cup yacht race.

An accidental fire caused more than $2 million in damage to one of San Francisco’s historic waterfront pier buildings, but the blaze did not affect the structural integrity of a space that’s expected to be used by the America’s Cup.

Pier 29 went up in flames Wednesday afternoon. It took firefighters about two hours to contain the blaze. There were no injuries, and damage is estimated at $2.37 million.

However, damage appeared to be confined to the roof and the front of the building, fire spokeswoman Lt. Mindy Talmadge said.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing, but it appears the fire was accidental and that construction crews working on the nearby cruise ship terminal were close to the source of the blaze. Talmadge said it’s still unclear what exactly sparked the fire.

The harbormaster red-tagged the building late Wednesday evening, preventing anyone from going inside. The sidewalk also will remain closed through the weekend.

By 2014, piers 27 and 29 will be home to The City’s new cruise ship terminal. Work on that project has started, but before it’s complete the site will be used in 2013 for the America’s Cup international regatta.

Pier 27 was built diagonally to accommodate large shipping vessels, and as a result intersects with Pier 29, which juts 800 feet into the Bay, Port of San Francisco spokeswoman Renee Dunn Martin said.

The majority of the America’s Cup village will be concentrated on Pier 27, according to plans released in December. A small portion of the spectator seating will spill onto Pier 29. Parking, offices and storage also will be located on Pier 29. The building damaged in Wednesday’s fire was not expected to be used for the event.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

 

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