Mon. Jun 1st, 2020

San Francisco Firefighters Save Historic World War II Ship SS Jeremiah O’Brien, Which Stormed the Beaches Of Normandy On D-Day

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- MAY 23: The Liberty ship SS Jeremiah O'Brien appears through the clearing smoke of a 4-alarm fire burning on Pier 45 in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, May 23, 2020. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

A fire engulfed a warehouse at Pier 45 on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf early Saturday, sending a thick plume of smoke over the waterfront and threatening to spread to a historic World War II-era ship before firefighters brought the flames under control.

The fire, which was reported around 4:40 a.m., was considered still active as of 9:40 a.m. Firefighters are expected to remain on scene throughout the afternoon. Tourists, residents and swimmers are asked to stay away from the area.

The fire left haze and plumes of smoke over San Francisco and could be seen from other parts of the Bay Area.
Firefighters told ABC7 additional structures and the historic SS Jeremiah O’Brien ship were threatened by the fire.

The warehouse at Pier 45 is a “total loss,” though a fire boat was able to save the O’Brien ship, fire officials said just before 6:30 a.m.

The ship, which is one of two remaining fully functioning Liberty ships launched during World War II, stormed Normandy on D-Day in 1944. The ship docks by the pier and is a popular tourist attraction.

“Our firefighters absolutely saved the SS Jeremiah O’Brien during this fire as flames were pinching on the side of this vessel,” said San Francisco Fire Lt. Jonathan Baxter.

A total of 150 firefighters and 50 fire apparatus responded to the scene. One firefighter was injured in the fire with a severe laceration to the hand and transported to a local hospital.

It’s unclear what ignited the flames and investigators are now working to learn the cause and origin of the fire.

Three businesses were affected by the fire, including offices for the Blue and Gold Fleet, Red and White Fleet and the Jeremiah O’Brien fleet.

No boats were damaged, other than paint on the O’Brien.

Video earlier from the scene shows massive flames along the pier and San Francisco’s skyline.

Three businesses were affected by the fire, including offices for the Blue and Gold Fleet, Red and White Fleet and the Jeremiah O’Brien fleet.

No boats were damaged, other than paint on the O’Brien.

Video earlier from the scene shows massive flames along the pier and San Francisco’s skyline.

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett

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