Cannery at Fisherman’s Wharf catches fire

The Associated Press
Monday March 18, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO — A fire raged for hours at the Haslett Warehouse, a historic landmark on Fisherman’s Wharf, destroying the fourth floor and roof. 

The fire was contained Sunday, but firefighters continued to watch for flare-ups. 

The fourth floor and roof of the 198,000 square-foot building were completely destroyed, although the brick facade still stands, Fire Capt. Pete Howes said. 

Firefighters were keeping people away from the building in case of collapse. The building was built around 1907 and was undergoing renovations. 

The Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group had signed a 57-year lease with the National Park Service, which owns the Haslett Warehouse, to transform it into the Argonaut Hotel. 

“It’s a disappointing circumstance,” said Tom LaTour, chairman and chief executive officer of the Kimpton Group. He said the hotel’s opening day had been scheduled for the end of this year and will likely be pushed back to mid-2003. 

LaTour said he has no idea how much the damage will cost. 

The warehouse is adjacent to The Cannery shopping center, which remained closed Sunday. Some of the 30 shops and restaurants had smoke and fire damage and would remained closed until cleanup was finished, said Kris Kremers, marketing director for the shopping center. 

There were no reports of injuries. Most businesses on the wharf were closed when the fire broke shortly before midnight Saturday, city fire Lt. Eric Richardson said. 

Flames had caused burn damage to adjacent buildings. 

Fire investigators did not immediately determine a cause.