Fire officials told the San Francisco Examiner today that the fire at Mission and 22nd streets that claimed one life and displaced dozens in late January was likely caused by an electrical fault in an upstairs wall. According to the Examiner:

Investigators “could not rule out” an “unspecified electrical fault” in the wall as the cause of the fire, [Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy] Talmadge said. That, and the location of the fire’s origin inside a wall, led investigators to conclude the fire was accidental.

Officials speculated that the cause was likely electrical at a fire safety hearing called by Supervisor David Campos in March but had not yet confirmed that suspicion, as the cause was still under investigation. CBS also reported the likely cause at the beginning of April.

Now that the investigation is concluded, it appears the origin of the fire was an electrical short inside a wall of a third floor apartment, which indicates the fire was accidental.

Residents reported that no fire alarms had sounded at the building at the time of the fire, that some exits were blocked, and some fire escapes failed to extend. The building’s owner recently failed to appear at a DBI hearing and has not filed for any permits for repair beyond shoring up the heavily damaged building, despite having been issued two notices of violation.

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  1. So, when building’s owner fails to appear at a DBI hearing, they are allowed to keep operating anyway? I’m outraged that someone has died and Lou can continue to run his business as usual, despite not fixing the issues with this building and leaving so many people displaced. The city is as negligent as the property owner for allowing this to go on the way they did, as this property owner has had many other complaints against them. San Francisco needs to tighten up on the standards they are allowing their residents to live (and die) in – ALL while allowing property owners to gouge their tenants for every last penny! Ed Lee is to blame, and so is anyone at the DBI who has any part in working on Lou’s violations.

    This man should be held accountable, especially since he’s dodging his responsibility all while having a value of roughly $15.3 million in property, according to public records. This is corrupt and disgusting and causing the city to spend resources on his tenants, while Lou is blowing off appearances and legal duties.

    THERE WERE NO WORKING SMOKE ALARMS IN THE ENTIRE BUILDING ON 22ND??? ARE YOU SERIOUS???

    Seems odd, considering that the property passed a Fire Department inspection conducted in August 2014. He also shared a record of an alarm test conducted by Tom Jue and Company, a certified alarm testing company. <- ALL these people should be investigated and held accountable!!! Why??? Because if Lou was indeed "compliant" why did many tenants have no smoke detectors inside their units??? How is this compliant??? IT IS NOT!

    “It’s a complaint based system,” said William Strawn, a spokesperson for the Department of Building Inspection. UNACCEPTABLE!!! DO YOUR JOB!!!

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