photo by djtinachristina

Updated at 3 p.m.

Six people were injured and at least 37 others displaced when a four-alarm fire scorched two buildings at the corner of Valencia Street and Duboce Avenue.

The number of displaced residents could increase, the AP reports.

Five firefighters and one resident were injured. None of the injuries were life-threatening, and all were taken to San Francisco General Hospital. Three of the firefighters were injured when a staircase collapsed.

Firefighters received a call reporting a fire at 101-109 Duboce Ave. at 9:51 a.m., said Officer Mark Gonzales of the San Francisco Fire Department.

The blue three-story residential building, built in 1911, was a total loss, Gonzales said. At first the blaze was designated a two-alarm fire, he said, but it quickly escalated to four alarms.

The cause is still under investigation. Some neighbors reported hearing a loud explosion and people shouting “Get out!” It is not clear if the explosion preceded the fire.

The fire then spread to an adjacent building, 204-208 Valencia St., but the damage there was limited to a couple of units, according to the building’s owner.

About a hundred people were gathered outside of the building at 10:40 a.m., some talking to the Red Cross. An evacuation center has been set up at the nearby Bahai Center, and about 20 to 25 people are there, said Steven Sharp, public affairs lead for the American Red Cross.

While the fire appeared to be under control at 11:30 a.m., firefighters were still on the scene at 1 p.m., some on the roofs of nearby buildings.

Witnesses said they watched firefighters escort at least one resident out of the building. She appeared to be fine, however.

Sulton Alkhrarsa, the owner of 204-208 Valencia, carried his mother away from one of the units.

“I went upstairs and I carried my mom down. My mom is diabetic, 65 — she is sick, so I moved her out fast, so no problem,” he said. “Everyone in the building is safe, so don’t worry about that.”

Update: AP is reporting the number of displaced has increased to 37.

Update: The Examiner is reporting that five firefighters and one resident were injured in today’s four-alarm fire.

[Youtube video by ]

Correction: an earlier version of this article had the incorrect spelling for Sulton Alkhrarsa.

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Rigoberto Hernandez

Rigoberto Hernandez is a journalism student at San Francisco State University. He has interned at The Oregonian and The Orange County Register, but prefers to report on the Mission District. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike around the city, going to Giants games and admiring the Stable building.

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  1. The San Francisco Friends School is partnering with the Red Cross and local neighborhood orgs, and will be a collection site for donations through this Friday May 11. Please drop off blankets, kids and adult clothes, and toiletries in our lobby between 8am-6pm.

    We are also hosting a neighborhood meeting this Thursday May 10 from 5-6pm. Reps from the Red Cross, the Supervisors office, and hopefully the fire dept will be present to answer questions and share info.

    We are located at 250 Valencia St (entrance on Brosnan). For more info please contact Guybe Slangen 415.465.0400

  2. hey Valencia/McCoppin Group, let me know what you find out about helping. I can have the kids post flyers again and get the word out. We were so sad to watch this happen and very worried for the tenants. It could happen in any of our old buildings.

  3. I will donate clothing in new/like-new condition (including a lot of work-appropriate items), new bath items (soap, shampoo, etc), and small household goods to victims of the fire.

    Clothing is women’s size 2-6. I also have a few items of men’s clothing size 28 pants/small tops, including items that are work-appropriate.

    I live a couple of blocks from the site of the fire, so I’m local to where the victims lived. In order to ensure that people who need help the most are getting what they need, I’d like to get proof (drivers license or mail) that whoever receives the donated items actually lived in the affected buildings. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible fire.

    Anyone have any ideas how I can communicate with the victims or an organization helping them? I don’t want to post my contact info here if I can avoid it.

    1. Jenn- The Valencia/McCoppin Neighborhood Watch is investigating setting up a donation site. I’ll post here when we have a plan.

  4. From the SF Ex:

    Alkhraisa said he and an employee of Fred’s Liquors, on the first floor of the Duboce building, grabbed fire extinguishers and tried to fight the blaze until firefighters arrived.


    I’m not the least bit surprised that Frank, the Jordanian immigrant who was the employee at the corner store at the time of the blaze, did what he could to control the flames. He’s quite a good man – all the time – not just when there is a crisis!

  5. We live on the little street behind Duboce, Clinton Park, and we share the same parcel land with the burnt building. The boyfriend and I were having breakfast when we thought we heard a gunshot. Maybe 2-3 minutes later, we could see smoke coming from the corner of Duboce and Valencia. We thought it odd noise like a gun being fired preceded the fire.

    Very glad no one was seriously injured or killed in the blaze.

    Also, we received an email from a contact at the Friends School, half a block away in the old Levi’s building, expressing concern for us neighbors. Nice to know that on a Sunday the folks at the school are in touch with what’s happening in the area and reach out after a crisis.

  6. Do we know if the pets are ok?
    Do let us know if they need foster homes for the non-humans!

  7. Hi Scott, everyone. Yeah, let’s try to find out what caused that. I hope it isn’t like San Bruno, faulty pipes and such.

    Rick H

  8. Thanks MissionLocal for the timely updates all morning. Glad no one died, but so sorry for those hurt and those homeless.

  9. I am a neighbor across the street. if you hear about anything that we can do to help, please let us know.

      1. From gas build up, a leak? A warm day like we’ve had the past couple of days you’d think the windows would be open. I wonder how quickly these building fill with gas? Could a line inside the building explode?

        I wonder if big buildings like that require water sprinklers? I know the SROs of the Tenderloin all have them. The City requires it.

        Must have been a huge explosion. That was a huge fire. Check out this video…

        YouTube video
    1. Pearl street (street between Valencia and Guerrero) is working on a fundraiser.
      Any help or suggestions would be great.
      Let me know.