UPDATE AT 11:48 a.m.: Mission Local previously reported that the fire displaced 26 people, based on an initial report by the fire department. More recent reports indicate that 11 people were displaced. Estimated damage to the building that was on fire is $50,000 in property and $100,000 in contents. A neighboring building exposed to the fire suffered estimated damages of $25,000 in property and $10,000 in content. The fire’s cause is still under investigation. Mission Local will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
Two buildings were damaged by a two-alarm fire that broke out in a three-story building at 3477 22nd St. near Dolores early Thursday morning. The blaze displaced 11 residents, according to the most recent report from the San Francisco Fire Department.
Firefighters were dispatched to the eight-unit building at 1:06 a.m. The fire was under control by 1:54 a.m. The smoke may also have affected a third building, at 3483-3489 22nd St., according to fire department spokeswoman Lt. Mindy Talmadge.
Neighbors on the scene Thursday morning said the fire appeared to have originated in the staircase and that the cause seemed to be electrical, but this has not been confirmed.
The Red Cross was called to help displaced residents and the arson unit was sent to the scene to investigate, according to the fire department.
There were no reports of injuries.
Lisa, a resident who did not want to give her last name, was shaken by the fire. As she stood by a pile of burnt items from her apartment, she told Mission Local that she lived with her boyfriend and her dog in one of the affected buildings.
Standing near Lisa was her daughter, who lives on 22nd and Folsom streets. She didn’t know about the fire until she woke up this morning and saw several missed calls on her phone.
Neighbor Max Schaefer said, “I was woken up by 1:30 a.m. by the smell of smoke down the alley. You could see the amber flames hitting the other houses.”
Teresa Calle, who also lives nearby at 3475 22nd St., was awakened when her neighbors rang her doorbell and rushed her to get out. Her storage unit, laundry room and closets suffered water and smoke damage.
“It seems like the fire was coming down the stairs to the basement, but who knows?” she said. As the firefighters worked to put out the fire, Calle was standing across the street, watching the flames. She saw the firefighters enter unit 3458 and open a hole in the ceiling to contain the fire. “It was a very strong fire. It took very fast; in five minutes it was all involved in flames,” she said.
According to Calle, the Red Cross came immediately and handed out brochures, prepaid credit cards with $75, blankets, coffee and food. Displaced residents sat in a Muni bus parked on Dolores and 22nd streets. Fire victims were offered a three-night stay in a hotel downtown.
Calle said she is planning to stay with friends and make use of the supplies the Red Cross gave her. Her landlord, John Smith, told her this morning that he will work with cleaning teams to make sure there is no mold in the units after the fire is out.
“Good neighbors make a difference,” she said of those who came to hand out water and blankets.
Calle, who has lived in her apartment for 22 years, said she took the day off from work so she can “hopefully recover and take one day at a time.”