An early morning fire in San Francisco’s Bayview District Wednesday quickly grew to four alarms and spread to two apartment buildings before it was brought under control, authorities said.
The fire, which began between two buildings in the 1600 block of McKinnon Ave. near Third Street, was reported at 12:53 a.m., fire officials said.
Arriving firefighters were greeted with flames billowing out of the structures, residents scrambling for safety and an exposed gas line.
“They were knocking on doors screaming there was a fire and the alarms were going off,” Dawn Shaw told KTVU. “I just grabbed what I could and got out of there…It was blazing…There were wires popping and sparks flying.”
Theresa Jones also had to scramble for safety, but said others needed to be assisted to get out.
“Some people were stuck in the building, you could hear them hollering,” she said. “All the electricity went out and it was so smoky they couldn’t find their way out…They (the firefighters) were able to get them out.”
Two firefighters suffered minor injuries battling the blaze. One suffered knee and elbow injuries and the other suffered from smoke inhalation.
The firefighters' efforts were slowed by an exposed gas line between the two buildings. PG&E crews responded and were able to turn off the line within an hour.
It took more than two hours to gain control of the blaze and two dozen residents were displaced by the fire.
Fire investigators were still trying to determine a cause, but residents of the buildings told KTVU they believe it started in a garbage chute between the two buildings.
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