Historic SOMA building blaze ruled accidental
A fire that gutted an historic building on Mission Street in San
Francisco on December 18
has been ruled accidental.
Photo by Luke
By Ari Burack
December 29, 2007
A fire that burned
an historic building in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood
for 18 hours Dec. 18 has been ruled accidental, fire department
spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said Friday.
The fire started around 7 a.m. in a three-story building at 1133
Mission St. and kept blazing until about 1 a.m. the next morning,
fire officials reported.
Officials determined the wood-frame and brick building built
around the turn of the 20th century would have to be torn down.
Granite Excavation & Demolition Inc. started demolition Dec.
20 and is continuing to work on the project, Talmadge said.
Demolition Project Manager Tom Pietras explained the building
burned from the inside out and left 50 to 60 feet of brick wall
standing without much support.
"It left the building like a water balloon, just ready to
burst,'' he said.
San Francisco Department of Building Inspection spokesman William
Strawn said the city expedited the demolition permit due to the
building's condition, which doesn't happen often.
The building, possibly an old dance hall for an Irish fraternal
organization, was undergoing renovations before the fire, Talmadge
The union hall located next door to the burned building has been
red-tagged, Talmadge said, and no one is being allowed inside
until demolition work is completed.
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