SF firefighter arrested in on-duty DUI crash may lose job


Sources tell ABC7 News that firefighter Michael Quinn apparently shed his fire garments before entering the Chieftain Irish Pub. They say a security camera captured him guzzling down pitchers of water and that he was easy to identify because there were few patrons in the establishment at that time.

It was late Saturday night on June 29 when, with its siren and lights on, the fire truck Quinn was driving responded to a call of smoke in a building near 5th and Howard streets. Police say as he turned the truck, it hit a motorcyclist.

The rider was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with serious injuries.

Quinn's supervisor reportedly told him to stay with the truck while police investigated the accident. But Quinn suddenly left.

Our sources say Quinn disappeared for about 90 minutes before returning. They say the video places him at the bar during that period. He was later tested for drugs and alcohol at the fire house. It showed he had a blood alcohol reading of .13 percent. The legal driving limit is .08 percent. Police then arrested him.

ABC7 News also spoke to a source who has seen the letter Chief Joanne Hayes-White sent to the Fire Commission asking the commissioners to fire Quinn. Hayes-White lists 13 charges why he should be terminated, among them unsafe operation of a fire vehicle, disobeying a command, drunkenness, and entering an establishment that serves alcohol.

In 2002, Quinn received a fire department award for helping rescue hotel residents from a fast moving fire. Then four years later, he was honored again for rescuing a worker trapped in a building collapse.

The fire chief and fire commissioners declined to comment on the story. Quinn's attorney did not retuen ABC7 News' call for comment.

Police will soon expected turn over the case to the district attorney's office and are expected to recommend that Quinn be charged with felony drunk driving and hit and run.

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