Suspicious Early-Morning Fire Displaces 30, Causes $2.75 Million In Damage

A suspicious fire in San Francisco’s Bayview District early this morning caused an estimated $2.75 million in damage to three buildings and displaced 30 people from the neighborhood, authorities said.

The four-alarm blaze was reported at 12:53 a.m. at a two-story home at 1644 McKinnon Ave. near Third Street and spread to two other buildings.

Fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said the fire brought down live power lines and caused a gas leak that fueled the flames, which continued to burn until 4:19 a.m.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling the blaze and were treated at the scene, Talmadge said.

The fire caused an estimated $600,000 in damage to the building at 1644 McKinnon Ave. and destroyed $75,000 in contents, according to Talmadge.

One of the adjacent buildings at 4540-4550 Third St. sustained $1.2 million in structural damage and had $200,000 in lost contents, while the other at 4532 Third St. sustained $600,000 in damage and had $75,000 in contents destroyed, she said.

Police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said no arrests have been made in connection with the fire, and the cause remains under investigation.

Twenty-four adults and six children have been displaced from various residential units and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

One family had special needs that required a stay in a hotel, while the others are being housed temporarily at a shelter set up at the Gene Friend Recreation Center at 270 Sixth St., Red Cross spokeswoman Pooja Trivedi said.

Firefighters remained at the scene this afternoon to ensure that flames did not re-ignite in the damaged buildings, Talmadge said.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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