SAN FRANCISCO (CBS) – A fire at Pier 29 along San Francisco’s waterfront reached four alarms Wednesday afternoon before the San Francisco Fire Department was able to gain the upper hand.
The fire was reported about 1:50 p.m. at the two-story building where construction was planned for the 2013 America’s Cup, fire Capt. Jeanne Seyler said.
Embarcadero Street was shut down near Sansome Street as crews battled the fire. Flames could be seen shooting through the roof near the front of the structure around 2:30 p.m. A few minutes later, part of the facade near the roof – including the Pier 29 sign – collapsed.
Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said at the scene around 3:20 p.m. that the blaze had been contained but not yet fully extinguished.
She said firefighters had arrived to find “pretty spectacular flames coming through the roof.” They fought the blaze from several angles, including from a fireboat in the Bay.
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Hayes-White said a preliminary investigation indicates that the fire was likely accidental. She said there might have been workers inside the building when it started, but that “it’s too early to determine if that was the cause.”
Pier 29 along with neighboring Pier 27 are the planned hub for all competitions in next year’s America’s Cup yacht race. Operators said the building was largely vacant and was being emptied in preparation for construction.
No injuries have been reported in connection with the blaze.
America’s Cup officials released a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying: “Based on information available at this time, we do not anticipate that this will have any impact on our plans for the site and we look forward to moving ahead with the future construction of the America’s Cup Village at Pier 27/29.”
The pier was built in 1915 and has about 115,000 square feet of warehouse space. All tenants were moved out before work began last winter on the demolition of the adjacent Pier 27 for that pier’s use as a cruise ship terminal, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“Pier 29 is pretty much an empty shed right now,” Port of San Francisco spokeswoman Renee Martin told the newspaper. “We have no tenants.”
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)