Debris collected on the road from a 2-alarm fire that sent a family of 5 to the hospital this morning. Photo by Andrea Valencia

The entire family of five living above a liquor store at 3044 24th at Treat is still hospitalized after a fire destroyed their flat early this morning.

The 40-year-old father and two children were taken to San Francisco General Hospital as rescuers administered CPR. The 37-year-old mother and a third child were taken to St. Francis Hospital. One of the children, 16, regained consciousness in transit, while the father and another 6-year-old child regained a pulse.

Broken windows leading to the family’s burned flat. Photo by Andrea Valencia

Neighbors who knew them were the first to try to assist the family. One of them, a man who gave his name only as Moises, ran out of his house at 4:30 a.m.  to check on his friends after he detected an odd smell. He and other neighbors began to break the lock on a gate on 24th street that leads to the family’s unit after seeing the father and one of his younger children in distress at the window. But when they tried to open the apartment door, they were met with flames. By that time the fire department arrived to rescue the family members through the windows.

Firefighters also broke open a padlock at the back of the liquor store to find two people with mattresses who had been living in the storage room. Those people fled and their condition is unknown.

The building had no fire escapes, SFFD Public Information Officer Mindy Talmadge said, though she did not have information on whether fire alarms and smoke detectors sounded or not. She said that a single family unit in a mixed use building like this is not necessarily subject to specific fire codes. Any code violations that are discovered in the course of the investigation will be noted in a forthcoming fire report.

Built in 1900, the building appears significantly damaged. It appears there was only one dwelling unit above the liquor store. Rubble and debris piled up on the sidewalk, windows are broken from the rescue effort, and the walls of the building are charred.
Video of fire crews cutting through padlocked gate to rescue first floor residents (via KQED news):

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Andrea was born and raised in Mexico City, where she graduated as a translator/interpreter. She has been working with Mission Local since 2009 translating content for the Spanish page. Also lives in the Mission, does some reporting, social media and enjoys taking photos and training people that want to contribute to Mission Local.

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  1. Has anybody gotten in touch with the family? We are neighbors who would like to fundraise. Please email me at pmcwheeler at gmail with any info. Thank you.