At A-Total Fire Protection, we strive to help California businesses and residents with fire safety and fire protection systems. With years of experience and a wealth of knowledge, we provide fire inspection services and offer insight that you can trust. We love our state, and we know you do too. That’s why we do what we do. Part of that love comes from the rich history written into the fabric of our cities. It just so happens that history includes a chapter about San Francisco and its fiery beginnings.

Baptism of Fire

Hardly had the gold rush of ‘49 begun before a disastrous fire razed an important part of the new city of San Francisco. Wooden houses, tent cities, and impromptu shacks built by hopeful prospectors were no more. In total, there were six fires in the first three years of San Francisco’s existence, and fire continued to be a part of the growing city for decades to come.

The Great Fire of 1849

On Christmas Eve of 1849, a fire broke out in a gambling house on a street overlooking Portsmouth Square. The fire spread through the tent cities in the downtown area, and without a fire department, it fell to the average citizen to fight the blaze. Ingenious citizens that they were, they quickly found a way to utilize their mining tools to combat the flames. Armed with pickaxes and dynamite, the people ripped down and demolished the remaining structures to deprive the spreading fire of fuel. While there were no more buildings, the plan did succeed in saving many lives. After this event, the decision was made to form the first San Francisco fire department.

Check back next time when we will take a look at the fire of 1851 and the devastating damage caused by the Earthquake of 1906. Until then, call on the fire inspection services of A-Total Fire Protection for all of your fire safety needs.