Firefighters battle persistent blaze on Mission
San Francisco firefighters continue to battle a persistent blaze
that started this morning
in a vacant building on Mission Street between 7th and 8th Streets.
Photos by Luke
By Ari Burack
December 18, 2007
Building inspectors are still weighing the structural integrity
of a vacant building still smoldering this afternoon in San Francisco's
South of Market area, a spokesman with the city's Department of
Building Inspection said.
"The good news right now, is it has not yet collapsed,"
Department of Building Inspection spokesman William Strawn said.
Firefighters have been battling the single-alarm blaze at a three-story,
stone and red brick building at 1133 Mission St. since about 7
Photo by Nathan Diger, special to Fog City Journal
Should there be a collapse, part of the structure could crumble
into Mission Street and officials are determining whether that
section of the street will have to be closed for the afternoon
commute, according to Strawn.
The building, emblazoned on its street-side entrance with "Knights
of the Red Branch," was undergoing renovation and may have
been used as a dance hall for an Irish fraternal organization,
according to fire officials.
San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White consults
with station chiefs about the structurual integrity of the building.
White told Fog City Journal her parents met at the Knights of
the Red Branch.
The building directly adjoins the San Francisco Fire Department's
Local 798 union hall, which so far has not been damaged.
Mission Street between Seventh and Eighth streets remained closed
to traffic this afternoon, as firefighters sprayed water and flame-smothering,
biodegradable foam into the building, through its front windows
and partially collapsed roof.
Flame-smothering, biodegradable foam flows eastbound along Mission
Stress cracks from the heat have broken through the surface of
the building's exterior.
"We are paying close attention, in case what's going on
there might result in a building collapse," Strawn said.
He added that inspectors will be able to make a more complete
assessment once firefighters completely extinguish the fire.
Though the fire has been contained, fire spokesman Lt. Ken Smith
had no estimate as to when the fire would be brought under control
and estimated that firefighters would remain there throughout
the evening to monitor the structure for hot spots.
Earlier this morning, a firefighter the roof's collapsing rafters
injured one firefighter, causing all firefighters to be pulled
from the building.
Fire officials received calls about the fire beginning at 6:50
a.m., but Smith said the fire "was probably burning for some
time before they got there."
Workers at the building told fire officials they left at 10 p.m.
Monday, according to Smith.
The cause of the blaze is currently unknown.
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