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.