At least 37 people have been displaced after a four-alarm fire that burned at least two multi-unit apartment buildings in the city’s Mission District this morning.

Appeal contrib Corey Denis reports that the burning structure was an four story apartment building near Duboce and Valencia streets (that’s her video of the blaze above, and picture below).

The fire was reported at just before 10 a.m., according to the fire department. Arriving firefighters spotted flames and smoke pouring out of several windows on the top floor of the building, the dispatcher said.

Flames spread to at least one adjacent building, and firefighters attacked the blaze from the roof and the street.

According to Mission Local, witnesses said the fire began “with a loud explosion and screams of people shouting ‘get out.'”

Emergency in SF reported that a “2 alarm fire is in progress at Valencia & Duboce in the rear of a multistory building. Heavy flames spreading to all 3 floors.”

Mission Mission says the burning building is the “multi-story apartment building across the street from Zeitgeist.”

According to Denis, as of 10:32 AM, the blaze was “still smoldering, lots of smoke, everyone outside, eyes watery, one truck just left, the buildings are smoking, still a few flames.” As of 10:54, she says “10+” fire trucks remained on the scene.

KCBS reports that more that 100 firefighters fought the blaze.

Alert SF, San Francisco’s emergency notification system, sent an email to subscribers saying that “streets are closed within 3 square blocks of the fire between 14th & Duboce and Valencia and Stevenson. Avoid the area.”

The fire was contained at about 11:20 a.m., according to the fire department.

Several crews remained at the scene at 11:30 a.m. and several streets in the surrounding neighborhood continued to be shut down.

There are seriously conflicting reports on the number of people injured in the blaze. Dispatchers said some people had been transported to the hospital for injuries but would not say how many or who. A fire department spokeswoman has not returned calls seeking comment.

KCBS reports at 11:08 that four firefighters were injured when a staircase collapsed inside the apartment building, but that their injuries weren’t life-threatening.

One resident was also injured, they report. According to the Ex, that person was transported to St. Francis Memorial Hospital for smoke inhalation. However, according to a Chron report from 3:56, four tenants were injured. And then there’s the AP, which reports that two tenants were injured.

The Ex reports at 4:38 that only three firefighters were injured in the collapse, and that two others suffered, respectively, a foot injury, and a cut hand.

“One of the two buildings was a total loss,” KCBS reports. According to the Ex, the building, constructed around 1900, “had dry paint and a wood frame that helped feed the blaze.”

Alert SF says that Health and Human Services is “en route to ascertain details about displaced residents and needs.” A total of 30 adults and 7 children were displaced by the blaze, Red Cross spokeswoman Cynthia Shaw said.

All of those people have either been provided housing for the night or made their own arrangements, Shaw said.

“We believe that’s the total number of residents, ” a Red Cross spokesperson told the Chron.

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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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  • Michael Petrelis

    The back of our apartment building shares the same backyard space as the building that caught fire. My boyfriend and I were eating breakfast when we heard what sounded like a gun being fired. Almost simultaneously we asked, “What the hell was that noise?”

    Then all the smoke started billowing over everyone’s backyard, our upstairs neighbors came down and said they saw flames from their apartment, and our friend down the block, about five houses from the burning building were ringing our doorbell.

    They too heard the loud noise, had smoke pouring into their place, were getting freaked out and scared, so they grabbed their adorable kitty cat and came to our place for refuge.

    We totally appreciate this report, Eve. It gives us the facts about some of what happened and I’ve printed up your story and posted in our hall way, so the neighbors can learn what went down. Glad no one was killed or seriously injured.

  • Michael Petrelis

    The back of our apartment building shares the same backyard space as the building that caught fire. My boyfriend and I were eating breakfast when we heard what sounded like a gun being fired. Almost simultaneously we asked, “What the hell was that noise?”

    Then all the smoke started billowing over everyone’s backyard, our upstairs neighbors came down and said they saw flames from their apartment, and our friend down the block, about five houses from the burning building were ringing our doorbell.

    They too heard the loud noise, had smoke pouring into their place, were getting freaked out and scared, so they grabbed their adorable kitty cat and came to our place for refuge.

    We totally appreciate this report, Eve. It gives us the facts about some of what happened and I’ve printed up your story and posted in our hall way, so the neighbors can learn what went down. Glad no one was killed or seriously injured.