SAN FRANCISCO—Supervisor Aaron Peskin issued a public apology on Tuesday, March 20, for comments he made about the San Francisco Fire Department’s response to the fire that damaged a North Beach apartment last week. The fire transpired inside an apartment located at 659 Union Street at 7:30 p.m. on March 17.
The flames erupted at 659 Union Street. It started as a first alarm fire that quickly rose to a second alarm fire at 7:37 p.m., a third and fourth alarm was signaled just after 8 p.m. San Francisco Fire Department officials arrived at the scene within minutes to battle the blaze, which they noted they had contained via social media by a couple of minutes after the original call came through the hotline, and officials had the blaze under control by 9:30 p.m. There was reports of one firefighter being injured after he fell through the floor while battling the blaze.
A total of 8 people were displaced as a result of the fire. The region of Columbus and Broadway was shut down as officials battled the fire.
“I have been a longtime champion of the brave men and women of Local 798, and I am very grateful for their service on a busy St. Patrick’s Day and that no one was injured. I am equally passionate about my community, especially when their safety is at stake. My genuine love for my constituents is what has always driven the fight in me. While I reserve the right to raise questions as more information comes out about SFFD leadership response to Saturday night’s fire, it was inappropriate to raise them on the scene. I apologize to Chief Hayes-White and I intend to personally convey this to her as soon as I return from the spring legislative recess. In the meantime, my office is very focused on ensuring any displaced tenants and employees are taken care of, as well as keeping the 500 block of Columbus intact and thriving,” said Peskin in a statement.
The statement was a departure from Peskin’s original message on Saturday night, where he attacked the firefighters for taking so long to attack the fire with water and did not work efficiently to put out the fire.
San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White has not issued a statement in response to Peskin’s apology. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but officials do not suspect foul play.
According to the SF Board of Supervisor website, Peskin represents District 3, which is comprised of North Beach, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Polk Gulch, Union Square/Financial District and Russian, Nob and Telegraph Hills. He has lived in District 3 for almost 30 years.
Written By Seymone Khaleghi and Donald Roberts