policeblotter_sfa.jpgSaturday night’s three-alarm fire in the Bayview caused more than $2 million in damage to four residential buildings, but also provided an opportunity for some to raid the ruins.

As previously reported, the fire was reported at 9:37 p.m. Saturday at 1881 Oakdale Ave., a vacant building near Quint Street.

The blaze spread to three other adjacent buildings before firefighters extinguished it at 11:11 p.m., fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but the flames and smoke caused extensive damage.

The empty building at 1881 Oakdale Ave. sustained $600,000 in property damage.

The buildings at 1879 and 1883 Oakdale Ave. each sustained $500,000 in damage to their property and $100,000 to their contents, while 1877 Oakdale Ave. sustained $250,000 in property damage and $100,000 to contents inside, Talmadge said.

A total of 160 crew members responded to the fire, some of whom stayed until 4 p.m. the next day to make sure the blaze did not reignite in any of the buildings, according to Talmadge.

Seven children and 21 adults were displaced by the fire, she said. No one was injured.

The Red Cross provided aid to those displaced in the fire, handing out blankets and offering shelter, but according to the Chron, it wasn’t just the buildings’ former residents who took advantage of the Red Cross’ offer of help.

The Chron reports that when residents were allowed to reenter the building to retrieve belongings, they discovered two intruders “wrapped in Red Cross blankets.”

And under those blankets? “A backpack stuffed with jewelry, purses, a music player, two wallets and a watch they had just stolen from the fire victims’ rooms.”

According to the Chron, the miscreants ran from the angry residents, but were captured nearby.

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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