Three-Alarm Fire at 23rd and Capp Displaces More Than 20 People

Photo by Madonna Gevargas

En Español.

More than 20 people were displaced after a three-alarm fire damaged five buildings near 23rd and Capp streets Saturday morning, authorities said.

No tenant injuries were reported, but one firefighter was being checked for dehydration, said Mark Gonzales, the deputy chief of operations with the San Francisco Fire Department.

The fire started in a lower-level apartment at 3222 23rd St. at around 9:30 a.m., according to the Chronicle. In total, five units were damaged — at least three buildings on Capp Street and one adjacent building on 23rd Street. More than 20 people were displaced by the fire, said Kathleen Maclay of the Red Cross.

Firefighters were dispatched to a two-alarm fire that was later upgraded to three alarms.

“It was a tough fire, getting in there and fighting aggressively in all five buildings,” Gonzales said.

Some 150 firefighters were called to prevent the fire from spreading, as the property lines are made of wood, Gonzales said. At least four of the buildings were built in 1900, according to property records.

“I am surprised they contained it when they did,” Gonzales said. “All units on scene did a good job.”

Ursula Newenhouse, who lives in the 763-765 Capp Street building, was awakened by her neighbors upstairs.

“I woke up to the neighbors yelling fire, fire!” she said. “I didn’t even grab my purse, I just grabbed my dog.”

Her upstairs neighbor, Hussain, said he woke up and saw fire coming out of his back porch and into the kitchen. As he spoke with reporters, Hussain stood at the perimeter of the fire scene, wearing no shoes. His three roommates, who stood nearby, appeared shaken by the experience.

Newenhouse’s yellow labrador, Lola, kept trying to get back inside the building. Seeing Newenhouse struggle, Madonna Gevargas, a neighbor from across the street, gave her a leash to restrain her dog.

“That’s the least I could do,” Gevargas said.

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  1. I heard someone yell “fire” and I ran out to my backyard and took video of the fire here:

  2. Don McCasland

    Hey, we’re trying now to track down any information on what can be done to help the displaced people from that building. Please, if anyone finds out more, can they post here, or is Mission Local finds out more, can they update the story?

  3. suki

    How did it start?
    This is why I get freaky when people shoot off fireworks in the Mission. It take much for fire to thrive…ya know? (not that this fire was started by an incendiary device…)

  4. Christian

    I live 10 minute walk away from the location and the fire odor went in my hallway and hearing the fire department for like 20-30 minutes. I am glad everyone is ok but hope everything gets repair to be back in their homes.

  5. Carlos

    If anyone has details on what can be done to help, please post. Thanks.

  6. Kathleen Maclay, ARCBA Public Affairs

    The American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter will have a service center set up at Mission Presbyterian, 3261 23rd St., from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, to help those affected by the fire.

  7. TloB

    Wowe what a wake up call.
    Renters insurance..I’ll be getting.
    I sure hope my neighbor understand now I was trippin so hard when they left a egg cooking on the stove after leaving the house by mistake and had our Bldg alarms going off.

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