Cottage fire reignites talk about desolate land

A tiny fire outside a historic Hunters Point cottage may have been doused by firefighters, but the blaze has reignited the debate over the abandoned plot of land.

Firefighters were called to the Shipwrights Cottage at 8:01 p.m. Monday to find a small grass blaze threatening the 132-year-old structure. Less than 15 minutes later, the fire was under control, Fire Department Lt. Mindy Talmadge said.

The flames did not damage the cottage, but firefighters did break down the front door of the structure.

“Our crews accessed the interior to make sure the fire didn’t spread inside,” Talmadge said, adding that fire was not being investigated as arson.

It’s just the latest blip in a long history for the building at 900 Innes St. It used to house ship builders and then served as an office for the for San Francisco Bay’s ship-making industry, which boomed in an era when produce was delivered from the San Joaquin Delta by boat.

In 2008, the 76 acres of waterfront land were donated to the Tenderloin Housing Clinic by local developer Joe Cassidy. The nonprofit organization plans on building affordable housing at the site, although those plans have been held up because of zoning issues, Tenderloin Housing Clinic Executive Director Randy Shaw said.

Shortly after the transfer, the Board of Supervisors approved the building as an historical landmark. Since then, according to neighborhood advocates, the site has fallen into disrepair.

Shaw said his nonprofit can’t afford to provide the insurance, and that he is more than willing to provide access for neighbors to restore the cottage. As for the fire, Shaw said the circumstances sounded suspicious.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsfireLocalneighborhoodsSan Francisco

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco police investigated the scene of a police shooting near Varney Place and Third Street on May 7. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD shooting may prompt new body camera rules for plainclothes cops

Police chief says incident ‘should not have happened’

Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference about a $12 billion package bolstering the state’s response to the homelessness crisis at the Kearney Vista Apartments on May 11, 2021 in San Diego, California. (K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
Newsom promises sweeping change in California’s $267-billion budget

John Myers Los Angeles Times California would embark on the most ambitious… Continue reading

Despite the pandemic, San Francisco has ended the fiscal year with a budget surplus. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Better than expected tax revenues leave city with $157.3M surplus for this year

As the fiscal year nears an end and Mayor London Breed prepares… Continue reading

Passengers board a BART train bound for the San Francisco Airport at Powell Street station. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
BART bumps up service restoration to August 30, offers fare discounts

Rail agency breaks pandemic ridership records, prepares to welcome more passengers

Ashley and Michelle Monterrosa hold a photo of their brother Sean Monterrosa, who was killed by a Vallejo police officer early Tuesday morning, as they are comforted at a memorial rally at the 24th Street Mission BART plaza on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
State Department of Justice to investigate Sean Monterrosa shooting by Vallejo police

Attorney General Rob Bonta steps in after Solano County DA declines case

Most Read