Fire hits San Francisco pier building

June 20, 2012 at 7:46 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, June 20 (UPI) -- A four-alarm fire burned a waterfront building at San Francisco's Pier 29 that was being renovated for use during the America's Cup yacht race.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported the blaze along the Embarcadero churned smoke that blanketed the bay and clogged traffic along the waterfront.

No injuries were reported and officials for the organization putting on next year's America's Cup said they did not expect the fire to affect their plans. The unoccupied, nearly century-old, wood-and-concrete structure was to be used as a spectator area during the race, the newspaper said.

Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said the fire apparently started in the front of the building and spread to the roof.

Officer Albie Esparza, a spokesman for the Police Department, said the fire "doesn't appear to be suspicious at this time," but the cause had not been determined.

The fire was reported about 1:50 p.m. and was extinguished by 3:30 p.m.

"If there was going to be a devastating fire anywhere on the waterfront, this would be the worst place to have it," said Jon Golinger, president of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers neighborhood association. "It's front and center on San Francisco's waterfront. This is the main place where tourists come.

"It's incredibly sad to see it go up in a puff of smoke."

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