The Academy of Art University has offered assistance to several students and other residents of a San Francisco apartment building on Hyde Street that was destroyed Wednesday morning by a four-alarm blaze, according to a university representative.
At least 12 university students were among the 75 to 100 people displaced by the early morning fire, which gutted a four-story, eight-unit building at 824 Hyde St. and damaged two adjacent buildings.
Although the building was not a university building, the school has been working closely with the Red Cross and city officials to offer shelter, food, and clothing to those affected by the fire.
“Any time a tragedy like this happens, the Bay Area community comes together and does whatever it takes to help our fellow citizens,” university President Elisa Stephens said in a statement.
The fire, reported shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday, tore through the structure, which is a “total loss” and will have to be demolished, San Francisco fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge said.
Firefighters had to evacuate the building after flames spread to a stairwell put the roof in danger of collapsing, Talmadge said.
Two adjacent buildings, including one at 830 Hyde St., sustained smoke, water, or other damage. All 10 units in that building were damaged, and residents were not able to return to their apartments Wednesday.
Stephens said university officials were moved by an outpouring of support from students and faculty who have brought in supplies, clothes and food.
“The university wants to do everything possible to help the students who have lost their belongings and the roof over their heads to stay on track with their academic goals,” Stephens said.
Three people were treated at neighboring St. Francis Memorial Hospital for smoke inhalation, and those victims have since been released.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.