Update 6 p.m.: The five-alarm fire that ripped through Big House Inc., on Mission Street between 22nd and 23rd streets, has now been largely contained. More than 100 residents are still waiting to return to their homes. Gas and electric are still off for many businesses and homes in the area.
The fire started just after 1 p.m. and quickly grew.
As smoke began pouring out, many Mission residents scrambled to evacuate, Mission Local reports:
Paula Reina, who works at Marketing for Total Care Plus, clinic that just moved onto its new location on Mission Street on Tuesday, was right next to the fire. “I was working on my computer when my boss yelled “Fire” – Immediately, there was smoke. I couldn’t see anything. It was like 9/11 up in there.”
Doctor Anthony Ngo, who owns the the Total Care Plus clinic, immediately evacuated his employees. “I saw black smoke out of the window and I couldn’t breath,” he said. “We gave everybody the day off.”
Sasha Wrazinsky, who lives a few doors down on Bartlett, the street just West of Mission and behind the fire, saw clouds of smoke from her living room window. “My baby was napping and I just grabbed her and ran,” she said.
Several surrounding buildings have sustained smoke and water damage. The owner of New Mission City, next door to Big House Inc., says his whole store and all of its merchandise were destroyed in the fire.
The Salvation Army, working with the Red Cross, has deployed a Disaster Response Team and mobile kitchen to assist fire crews.
Update, 5 p.m.: San Francisco Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White confirms that the business where the fire started has been cited twice for overcrowded conditions and narrow exit routes. More than 100 firefighters have been battling the blaze.
Update, 3:25 p.m.: SF Weekly reports: “We talked to the fire department, which tells us that so far, five people have been transported to the hospital, three civilians and two firefighters. At 3:02 p.m., the front of the building was starting to separate, and fire crews were being pulled from the scene for safety reasons. A fire marshal tells SF Weekly that there’s still alot of smoke at this time, so they can’t see how much of the building has come down, but it’s starting to collapse.”
Update, 3 p.m.: CBS-San Francisco is reporting that at least two people have been injured in the five-alarm blaze. Both suffered smoke inhalation and have been transported for treatment.
Update, 2:25 p.m.: The San Francisco Fire Department has declared a fifth alarm for the fire burning on a crowded commercial block in the Mission District.
Previous post: San Francisco firefighters are trying to contain a three-alarm fire in the heart of the Mission District early Thursday afternoon. The Fire Department says the fire was burning at 2236 Mission St., between 22nd and 23rd streets. That’s the address of a dollar store called Big House Inc.
Muni is rerouting the 14, 14L and 49 bus lines to South Van Ness Avenue, and the San Francisco Department of Emergency Service is urging drivers to avoid the area.
That’s all the information we have at the moment. No reports of injuries yet, though we’ll note that none of the buildings on the west side of the street, where the fire is burning, appear to be residential.
Here’s our Storify of social media coverage:
Lisa Pickoff-White and Bay City News contributed to this report.