Master stream set up. #5thalarm this morning. Original dispatch came in as a “small outside fire” with 1 engine, 1 truck and a Chief. As crews got on scene they quickly realized they were dealing with a large #fire with access issues and a heavy fire load. pic.twitter.com/A8Gtbu1ATL
— San Francisco Firefighters 798 (@SFFFLocal798) July 28, 2020
Early Tuesday morning the San Francisco Fire Department responded to a 5th alarm fire that engulfed six buildings in the 100 block of 14th Street in the SoMa neighborhood. The fire completely destroyed two buildings and severely damaged several others, including an art collective that housed three residents.
The fire started around 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday where it quickly escalated from a 1st alarm to a 5th alarm fire in just an hour. Lt. Jonathan Baxter, a Fire Department spokesman, reported that the fire had originated behind 140 14th Street in an alleyway, but SFFD has yet to determine the origin.
Baxter did say that a mattress fire from a homeless encampment ignited about six hours earlier in the same location but was completely extinguished and no connection had been found. The department however is investigating all leads in the case as to find the cause of the fire that raged for most of the day Tuesday.
5 PM MEDIA UPDATE TODAY FOR 5TH ALARM FIRE
14th and South Vanness
1700 Hrs pic.twitter.com/AJDNVxef3a
— SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT MEDIA (@SFFDPIO) July 28, 2020
San Francisco this morning…God Almighty.
This happened 1 block away from BMW San Francisco. A building supply shop roasted to the ground. No word yet on what caused it. pic.twitter.com/0eKogX303U
— SF TESLA CLUB (@sfteslaclub) July 29, 2020
No deaths were reported and only one firefighter was injured, incurring “blunt force trauma” while on duty. The firefighter was tended to by paramedics on scene and later transferred to SF General Hospital and is in good condition. The buildings affected were mostly businesses and the three residents that were misplaced are currently receiving aid from the Red Cross.
Currently, 14th Street is blocked off to vehicles and pedestrians between South Van Ness and Folsom where fire engines are monitoring potential flair ups from latent material that has yet to burn out. These fire watches involve firefighters pouring water on the debris every four hours as to continue to quell any hotspots from reigniting the fire. As of Wednesday morning, SFFD said that the fire is still considered 5 alarm and that it is not contained. Fire watches will continue over the next several days.
Birdseye view of all the destruction from the San Francisco fire near 14th street & S Van Ness Ave. Crews have been putting out hot spots here for more than 24 hours. Looks like they’ll be able to get a better look at things soon. @kron4news #sanfranciscofire pic.twitter.com/q6t6vQET50
— Taylor Bisacky (@TaylorBisackyTV) July 29, 2020