A rooftop fire flared up at a United Airlines maintenance hangar at San Francisco International Airport yesterday, but damage was thankfully minimal.
A fire on the roof started at 7:30 AM, sending thick plumes of smoke into the crisp morning air. The building was promptly evacuated and firefighters successfully extinguished the blaze in about an hour. No flights were delayed nor passengers impacted.
United mechanic Scott Pierson told KGO, a local ABC affiliate:
They evacuated us and they didn’t tell us what it was but I talked to some people and heard it was the HVAC on top of the building. I didn’t see anything except a lot of smoke. I didn’t see fire. I didn’t see anything burning.
United released the following statement about the event:
This morning, a fire started at a building at our maintenance facility located north of the terminals at San Francisco International Airport. Our employees acted quickly to safely evacuate the building and there are no reported injuries. Acting swiftly, the San Francisco Fire Department was able to extinguish the fire and we are currently assessing the facility. There is no impact to our operations at the airport.
I cover this story because it could have been so much worse. Imagine if the fire had spread more quickly and engulfed valuable parts…or even aircraft? What if someone had been injured or perished? Fires can start quickly and spread quickly…kudos to the San Francisco Fire Department for quickly extinguishing this blaze. Channeling my Smokey the Bear voice, I note that it doesn’t take much to start a fire…I’m glad this story ended well.