A one-alarm fire that broke out at 3:34 p.m. at a residential hotel near 15th and Valencia streets caused traffic to back up for the better part of an hour across parts of the Mission.
The fire on the second floor of the Royan Hotel at 405 Valencia St. was under control by 4 p.m. Three fire trucks from the San Francisco Fire Department’s Station 7 were at the scene.
Captain Richard Untalan said no one was injured or displaced.
Gaylord Dixon, a tenants’ rights organizer who lives at the hotel, blamed the fire on a fellow tenant’s excessive hoarding.
Dixon said that another resident approached the room where the fire started, opened the door and was greeted by knee-high flames engulfing parts of the room. The fire would have spread had the resident not quickly used a fire extinguisher, Dixon said.
Curtis Williams, who’s lived at the hotel for 20 years, said he had been sleeping when the fire broke out. He woke up after a neighbor knocked on his door alerting him to the fire, and credited the response from his neighbors for getting him out of the building safely.
“There was no smoke, I didn’t smell anything, but 20 minutes later they came banging on my door,” Williams said.
Another resident, Raymond Muldoon, said he had been hanging out with some neighbors when he heard the alarm. When he went down the hall to check, he saw a ton of smoke with a heavy chemical smell.
“Sometimes the alarms go off and it’s not anything,” Muldoon said.
That was why Dixon went around the building, urging people to evacuate.
“We went out knocking on doors because sometimes they test the sprinklers,” Dixon said. “We have safety monitors on each floor in case anything like this happens.”
The street was partially open to traffic by 4:30 p.m.