"We don't get this type of fire every day," said fire chief Joanne Hayes-White in a news conference on Wednesday. "But we train for this type of conflagration, and we were up to the task last night."
Over half the firefighters in the city were on the scene Tuesday as the MB360 development burst into a huge inferno, and ABC 7 talked with several of the firefighters who were on the scene, including one who was up one of the rig ladders spraying water onto the blaze. He says he had to turn his head down several times to let his helmet shield his face from the heat, and another firefighter suffered burns while doing the same thing atop a ladder.
They also spoke with fireman Stephen Maguire yesterday evening after he had been on the scene a full 24 hours firefighters were still intermittently spraying the building as late as this morning to tamp out any remaining hot spots.
As it turns out, battling the fire required tapping into the city's rarely used, high-pressure emergency water system, via hydrants that are fed by the 10.5 million-gallon Twin Peaks Reservoir and the Jackson Street Tank on Nob Hill. As the Chron reports, there was only one high-pressure hydrant in the vicinity, hundreds of yards away from the fire, and it required about 30 minutes of set-up with the dragging of special 5-inch diameter hoses long distances. But it was only with the help up of this back-up water supply that the SFFD managed to control the blaze.
Teardown of the building is continuing as we speak, but as demolition takes place more flames can pop up, so fire trucks will remain on the scene for days, if not longer, as this process goes on. There's also a meeting today to figure out what to do with all the debris that will be left over.