Fire damaged building to be demolished
San Francisco firefighters continue to battle a persistent blaze
that started Tuesday morning
in a vacant building on Mission Street. A demolition order for
the building will render Mission Street between 7th and 8th streets
Photos by Luke
By Ari Burack
December 19, 2007
Mission Street between Seventh and Eighth streets will remain
closed through Wednesday and possibly until the end of the week,
as a vacant building that caught fire this morning is to be demolished,
a San Francisco Department of Building Inspection spokesman said
Firefighters will continue to battle the one-alarm fire at 1133
Mission St. -- which has been continuously burning since early
this morning -- throughout the night, allowing it to burn it hot
spots, according to San Francisco Fire Department spokesman Lt.
"We're basically going to let it burn itself out throughout
the night," Smith said.
According to Department of Building Inspection spokesman William
Strawn, his department will issue an order to the property owner
early Wednesday morning to demolish the wood frame and brick building,
which dates from the 1890s, he said.
"It's structurally so weak, that we think it presents a
hazard to the street and the immediately adjacent buildings,"
Reopening the street depends on how quickly the building's owner
assembles bulldozers and other demolition equipment, takes down
the building, and removes the debris, a process that could last
until Friday, according to Strawn.
Until the demolition is completed, Mission Street between Seventh
and Eighth streets will remain closed.
Despite rain, the building smoldered throughout the day, billowing
dark smoke in San Francisco's South of Market District.
Firefighters had been battling the blaze at the three-story building
since about 7 a.m. Officials were worried that a collapse might
send part of the structure into Mission Street.
The building, emblazoned on its street-side entrance with "Knights
of the Red Branch," was undergoing renovation and may at
one time have been used as a dance hall for an Irish fraternal
organization, according to fire officials.
The building directly adjoins the San Francisco Fire Department's
Local 798 union hall, which so far has not been damaged.
Firefighters earlier today could be seen spraying water and flame-smothering,
biodegradable foam into the building, through its front windows
and partially collapsed roof.
Stress cracks from the heat broke through the surface of the
This morning, the roof's collapsing rafters injured one firefighter,
causing all firefighters to be pulled from the building. A second
firefighter was injured later in the day, according to Smith.
Both firefighters were treated at the hospital and released, Smith
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.
Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication,
Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent
of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.