Firefighters first responded to the fire call around 4 a.m. local time, according to CBS News. About 28 minutes later, the fire was reclassifi9ed as a two-alarm fire, and by 4:54 a.m. PDT it was classified four-alarm. (Alarm classifications indicate the seriousness of a fire and are generally determined by the number of resources dispatched to the scene).
Even though the fire spread to two other buildings and began to spread underneath the pier, causing four walls to collapse, the firefighters took a defensive stance to keep the flames from spreading further. Streets in the neighborhood were closed and the fire was kept from reaching the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien, one of two WWII era warships anchored nearby, according to tweets from the San Francisco Fire Department, according to Time.com.
— Jonah Owen Lamb (@jonahowenlamb) May 23, 2020
At least 130 firefighters were dispatched to the scene, along with fireboats and Coast Guard and Police Marine units to monitor the scene. San Francisco Fire Department PIO Lt. Jonathan Baxter said that the fire began at the pier’s Building C, and all four corners of the building have collapsed inward.
There is currently no evidence that anyone was in the building, although there have been reports of homeless people being seen in the vicinity. San Francisco Fire spokesman Baxter reported that officials have “aggressively and repeatedly been checking for footage, witnesses, or indications that would verify” no one was in the building.
Can see and taste the hazy smoke across SF’s waterfront – we live a mile away from the Pier 45 fire. Much love and gratitude to our #SFFD firefighters for these HEROES saving lives – and the historic SS Jeremiah O’Brien. pic.twitter.com/9kOx0eJgyV
— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) May 23, 2020
UPDATE: Just talked to @water2table owner Joe Conte, which works w/ 100s of fishermen
He said if the pier is intact they'll be OK, but this pier has vital “hoists” that unload fish … if the pier is unsound it would be “devestating” economically
He took these photos this AM pic.twitter.com/w0GMcjimju
— Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez (@FitzTheReporter) May 23, 2020