sffd_fire.jpgA firefighter was injured when he fell from a ladder while battling a three-alarm blaze that caused about $1 million in damage to three buildings on San Francisco’s Mission Street on Wednesday night, Deputy Fire Chief Pat Gardner said.

The fire was reported at about 8:10 p.m. at 3212 Mission St. near Valencia Street in the Bernal Heights area.

The blaze spread to the buildings to the left and right of the one where it originated before it was controlled about two hours later, Gardner said.

The firefighter who was injured was on a ladder and hosing down flames in the attic of one of the buildings when he fell about eight feet to the ground, according to Gardner.

The firefighter was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with a back injury. He was in stable condition and remained at the hospital this morning, Gardner said.

The three-story building where the fire started contained a dental office on the first floor and apartments above it. The other two buildings affected by the fire were also mixed-use buildings, with restaurants on the ground floor and apartments on top, Gardner said.

The building on the left houses the Lotus Garden restaurant, and the one on the right contains the Los Panchos Mexican restaurant. An employee at Los Panchos said the business only had minor damage – doors that had to be broken by firefighters responding to the blaze.

Gardner said the fire caused about $1 million in damage to the three buildings and their contents.

About 12 people were displaced by the fire, although residents have been able to return to the apartments above the Mexican restaurant, Gardner said.

The American Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents, he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but does not appear to be suspicious, Gardner said.

The fire is the second major one to affect San Francisco in the last two days.

A fire at a residential hotel in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood on Tuesday night injured 22 people, displaced more than 100, and caused more than $1 million in damage, Gardner said.

The fire apparently started in a garbage compactor in the building’s basement and spread throughout the building via its garbage chutes, he said.

The exact cause of that blaze, which is also not considered suspicious, has not been determined, Gardner said. (The SF Examiner, however, reports that “Authorities are calling (the fire) suspicious”, but does not provide any details. — EB)

He said investigators hope to pinpoint the causes of both fires in the next couple of days.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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