Four-alarm Lower Haight blaze displaces 14

| September 28, 2011
The blaze at Haight and Fillmore streets on Tuesday afternoon displaced 14 residents, according to the American Red Cross. (Bay City News) - THE BLAZE AT HAIGHT AND FILLMORE STREETS ON TUESDAY AFTERNOON DISPLACED 14 RESIDENTS, ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN RED CROSS. (BAY CITY NEWS)
  • The blaze at Haight and Fillmore streets on Tuesday afternoon displaced 14 residents, according to the American Red Cross. (Bay City News)
  • The blaze at Haight and Fillmore streets on Tuesday afternoon displaced 14 residents, according to the American Red Cross. (Bay City News)

A four-alarm fire in San Francisco’s Lower Haight neighborhood Tuesday displaced more than a dozen residents.

The blaze was reported at 4:08 p.m. at a three-story building on the corner of Haight and Fillmore streets and was under control by 5:15 p.m.

No injuries were reported, a fire dispatcher said.

The first floor of the building is occupied by a Walgreens while the top two floors contain 25 residential units.

The blaze started in a unit on the third floor and quickly spread to the attic and across the top of the building, Talmadge said.

The fire did not spread to the second floor, however that floor did sustain water damage, she said. The corner of the building appeared to sustain the most damage and windows were broken on a number of units on the top floor.

American Red Cross personnel were on the scene to assist the 14 residents who were displaced by the blaze.

Fire officials said the cause of the fire is not yet known, however investigators are responding to reports that early responders heard popping sounds. It was too soon to tell if the cause of the fire is considered suspicious, Talmadge said.

Pierre Pegeron, co-owner of the Lo-Cost Meat Market at 498 Haight St., said he was at work when he saw flames coming out of a window on the top floor of a residential building across the street.

He ran to the building and was soon joined by Gustavo Manzanares, who had been hired by the building’s owner to do some painting there.

Manzanares had a key to the building and opened the street-level door, and they began knocking on apartment doors to get residents out, Manzanares said.

“One gentleman was in his apartment right next door to where it started,” Manzanares said. He said the man grabbed his laptop and left the building.

Pegeron said that when he entered the building he sounded the fire alarm and grabbed an extinguisher, but was unable to put out the blaze.

“It was too intense,” he said.

Manzanares said at one point it looked like Pegeron was losing his strength. At that point, he said, “We just kind of grabbed each other and came out of there.”

Afterward, Pegeron was treated by paramedics and returned to his store.

“I got a little oxygen,” Pegeron said.

Speaking by phone from the meat market around 4:15 p.m., he said windows were shattering outside and there was a power pole in danger of falling.

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