World War II artifacts lost, $75K worth of crab pots destroyed after San Francisco Pier 45 fire

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- More than 24 hours after firefighters extinguished the Pier 45 fire, the site could still be seen smoking. Crews were seen on Sunday inspecting buildings near San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf and spraying down hotspots.

RELATED: San Francisco seafood distributor loses over $15K, tour boat company's office destroyed after 4-alarm fire engulfs Pier 45

The fire department says they will stay on the scene throughout the holiday weekend.

New video shows thousands of dollars of crab pots that were destroyed and one owner told ABC7 News that he lost $75,000 worth of pots.

The portion that burned houses office space and storage units for fishermen and seafood companies.

Joe Conte with Water2Table spoke to ABC7 and said the fire could be "disastrous for the local fishing community."

"That pier supports the entire San Francisco fleet," Conte said. "There's not a way to unload boats from between Half Moon Bay to Bodega Bay. So this pier is critical for the local fishing community."

Conte said because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Water2Table is distributing food directly to consumers.

He adds that fish from Fisherman's Wharf is shipped state and nationwide.

"I'm hoping we can get on to that pier soon," he said.

VIDEO: Bright flames, huge smoke plume visible in SF
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A San Francisco resident captured the bright flames and huge smoke plume from a four-alarm fire burning at a warehouse at Pier 45 in San Francisco.

The cause of the fire is unknown but we do now know that some World War II artifacts were lost in the fire.

Captain Cevan Lesieur of the SS Jeremiah O'Brien says that they used part of the space that burned as storage.

He says a binnacle, which is mounted on the ship with a compass, is among the several items that burned in the fire.

Volunteers with the SS Jeremiah O'Brien National Liberty Ship Memorial say that while the historic World War II cargo ship "escaped mostly unscathed" from the four-alarm fire on Saturday at Pier 45 in San Francisco, the organization that supports it did not fare as well.

"Items in storage and pier-side have been destroyed," the National Liberty Ship Memorial said Sunday in a post on its Facebook page. "Recovery will take time and money."

The organization is appealing for donations to replace what was lost.

The O'Brien, launched in Maine in June 1943, is one of only two Liberty ships of more than 2,700 built during World War II that remains fully functional.

The ship, designated a National Historic Landmark, is a living museum docked at Pier 45 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Port officials say they will likely move it to a temporary location and an initial report into the cause of Saturday's fire is expected next week.

PHOTOS: 4-alarm fire at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf

Bay City News contributed to this report.
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