sffd_officials.jpgA fire at an apartment building near San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood on Friday caused an estimated $1 million in damage, a fire department spokeswoman said today.

The three-alarm fire broke out around 10 a.m. at a seven-story building at 540 Leavenworth St., fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.

Firefighters responded and extinguished the blaze shortly after 11 a.m., but not before it damaged 24 of the 42 units in the building, Talmadge said.

The fire caused about $700,000 in damage to the structure and approximately $300,000 in damage to its contents, she said.

One woman was taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, but she is expected to survive, Talmadge said.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, and the building has been red-tagged by city building inspectors because of a gas leak that prompted the shutoff of gas service there, Talmadge said.

The fire displaced 66 people — 56 adults and 10 children–many of whom briefly stayed at an American Red Cross evacuation center that was set up after the blaze, Red Cross spokeswoman Cynthia Shaw said.

The evacuation center has since closed, and the majority of the displaced residents are being assisted by building management in finding temporary housing, Shaw said.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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