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Just as this book was being prepared for the printer, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck near Santa Cruz, California, 60 miles south of San Francisco. Damage was severe along the San Andreas Fault, north and south of the epicenter. San Francisco experienced considerable damage, primarily in the Marina and South of Market districts.

The City’s 42 firehouses sustained remarkably little damage. However, the structural engineers stood by their May 1989 assessment that two-thirds of the houses would be significantly damaged if an 8.0 earthquake, centered within 10 miles of downtown San Francisco, occurred before reinforcement or reconstruction of the firehouses cited.

On November 7, 1989, by a margin of 87% to 13%, the voters passed a bond issue of $53 million to complete such reinforcement and reconstruction.

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The San Francisco Fire Department Almanac is a compendium of facts and figures relating to the work of the City’s firefighters. It also provides a description of the neighborhoods where each firehouse is located so that an individual can appreciate the different skills required of firefighters in a given area. Each firehouse is described inside and out so one can understand the living and working conditions found in the stations. The statistics are necessary to provide an accurate picture of the ever-changing face of firefighting in the City.

The department’s annual report is the primary source of all statistics, with the most current coming from the CAD system at communications. With the continuing “civilianization” of the department and an ever-increasing amount of outside scrutiny of operations, this document is meant to educate those interested parties who may have an opportunity to work in the department or with department personnel. I recognize that any attempt to freeze the face of the department is futile.

The continuous movement of personnel and equipment means that this document will have certain errors relating to the positions of station officers mentioned in the text. Every attempt has been made to stay abreast of these changes, but one can only do so much. All of the photos were taken by the author on the same day, the third day of a late summer heat wave. Notice all the open windows across the City!

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Now on
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Fire Houses of San Francisco by Ray Dito

Author Raymond E. Dito, a retired SFFD captain (with 29 years of service) has written and complied a superb pictorial book of The Firehouses Of San Francisco. This wonderful book features the forty-four San Francisco firehouses active in 1989. All photographs were taken by the author.

From a historical perspective, The Firehouses Of San Francisco is an accurate record of the SFFD before the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that affected the entire Bay Area, including much of San Francisco. Shortly thereafter, the City remodelled, rebuilt, demolished, and changed locations of many of the stations.

Raymond E. Dito's latest book is an important part of San Francisco history and is a great gift for any fan of "The City" or any history aficionado. The book is now available on

The Firehouses Of San Francisco on Amazon

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When visitors to the city head for Powell Street, they think of cable cars and steep hills. When city firefighters hear of Powell Street, they think of Station 2 and Battalion 1. This downtown company station on Powell Street near Broadway is home to another active duet—Engine 2 and Truck 2. Operating in the Chinatown district of the city, they provide security to the largest urban population of Asians outside of China. Wedged into a narrow lot on the east side of the street, this venerable structure is hardly distinguishable from other structures in the neighborhood. Flanked by a restaurant in a Chinese import store, the triple roll-up door front offers no clue about the building’s identity. Its three-story height matches that of most of the structures on the block, and the absence of a hose tower makes it difficult to identify as a firehouse. The narrow alley on the right provides access to the entry door, which opens onto the apparatus floor. The chief’s buggy is in the first bay, followed by the truck and engine. Behind the rigs is the communications room. The space seems expansive for only two desks, a pool table, and a radio console. On the left is the chief’s office, and a small spare room is adjacent to that. A look around will not yield any sign of the kitchen—it is found in the basement.

Battalion One

Station 2
Station 13
Station 28
Station 41

Battalion Two

Station 6
Station 29
Station 36

Battalion Three

Station 1
Station 8
Station 35/Fireboat 1
Old Station 35

Battalion Four

Station 3
Station 16
Station 38

Battalion Five

Station 5
Station 10
Station 12
Station 21
Old Station 21

Battalion Six

Station 7
Station 11
Station 24
Station 26
Station 32

Battalion Seven

Station 14
Station 22
Station 31
Station 34

Battalion Eight

Station 18
Station 19
Station 20
Station 23
Station 40

Battalion Nine

Station 15
Station 33
Station 39
Station 43

Battalion Ten

Station 9
Old Station 9
Station 17 .
Station 25
Station 37
Station 42
Station 44