Large Fire on Mission Leaves Residents Homeless

The scene was hectic as dozens of firefighters rushed to the scene of an enormous blaze on Mission Street near Valencia that began around 8:10 p.m. Residents evacuated the building and passersby covered their mouths as the windy night swept smoke down Mission Street.

Firefighters spent more than an hour quelling the three-alarm fire. Across the street, a fire alarm blared for more than 30 minutes as a resident tried to get the Fire Department’s attention to turn it off.

Fire Department officials believe the blaze started at 3212 Mission, a white Victorian building with blue trim.

But smoke was pouring from the space between that building and the one next door, which houses the Vietnamese restaurant Lotus Garden. At around 9:30 p.m. it appeared that firefighters were tearing down walls between the two buildings.

Restaurant owner Kathy Tang said great amounts of smoke and fire filled her kitchen in the back before she left with her kids. She saw firefighters breaking walls and ripping them down, and she’s fearful about what will be left of her restaurant.

Both buildings were evacuated and residents looked on, discussing what in there was worth saving. Red Cross officials explained that it could take awhile to determine if the building is safe to re-enter. One resident was going to wait it out, saying there was too much he needed to retrieve. Others were planning where they were going to sleep tonight.

Smoke finally started dissipating around 9:30 p.m., and Red Cross officials said all residents of the buildings were accounted for.

Filed under: Front Page, Trouble

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