More than two dozen people displaced in apartment fire

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - More than two dozen people were displaced from their homes after a 4-alarm fire ripped through several apartment buildings in San Francisco Saturday.

The fire broke out just before 1:30 p.m. in the city's Alamo Square neighborhood near McAllister and Scott streets. The thick, billowing smoke could be seen from miles away.

71-year-old Thelma Green, who lives in one of the apartments, said she didn't even know her building was burning until after a firefighter rang her doorbell, alerting her to evacuate.

"They came and knocked my windows out. We were running down the stairs, (and we saw) the fire in the den," said Green.

She grabbed her great-grandson and ran outside.

"I saw flames coming up everywhere up there," she said. "I was scared, he was crying and I was crying. It was terrible."

Thelma's grandson Carl Hill said he rushed home as soon as he heard what happened.

"Whatever's in the house, I'm not worried about none of that. As long as she's alright, I'm alright. Everything else that's in there can be replaced."

Firefighters said when they arrived on scene shortly before 1:30 p.m., a building on the corner of Scott and McAllister, as well as the two buildings on either side, were on fire.

"Crews did an outstanding job. They were very aggressive. We had fire on each floor, but were able to contain mostly to those three buildings," said Assistant Chief Bob Postel, of the San Francisco Fire Department.

Firefighters said there was minor damage to a fourth building. All of the residents made it out of their homes unhurt, but a firefighter had to be taken to the hospital for a leg injury and exhaustion, according to Postel. He is expected to recover

Postel said approximately ten apartments were damaged and about 25 people were displaced. The Red Cross is helping many of them find a place to stay.

Investigators said they were looking into the cause of the fire, but said it appears to be accidental.