Liberty Ship Memorial Seeks Donations To Recover From Fisherman's Wharf Fire

KCBS Radio Weekend News
May 24, 2020 - 4:41 pm

Related: PHOTOS: Four-Alarm Fire Burns At Historic Fisherman's Wharf In San Francisco

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 in a social media post Sunday. "Recovery will take time and money."

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

A ticket booth, forklift and the mooring lines were destroyed in the fire.

"(The firefighters) kept everything cool and the heat away from the fuel tanks we have on the deck, and things like that," Senior Ship Keeper Phil O'Mara told KCBS Radio. "Thanks to the fire boat and the (San Francisco) fire department."

The ship encountered "flames of over 100 feet," but was ultimately saved with a curtain of water provided by the fire boat St. Francis.

The SS Jeremiah 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 remain fully functional. It was part of the armada that stormed Normandy in northern France on D-Day in 1944.

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

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