SF General Construction Site Blaze Not Expected To Delay Opening

A fire this morning at a construction site of a new building at San Francisco General Hospital is not expected to affect its 2015 opening.

The one-alarm blaze was reported at 9:32 a.m. in an elevator shaft of the under-construction building at 23rd Street and Potrero Avenue, hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said.

The fire was controlled at 10:18 a.m.

About 350 workers were evacuated from the construction site because of the fire.

Seven workers were assessed for smoke inhalation, and two of them were treated at the nearby emergency room and released in good condition, Kagan said.

One firefighter suffered a minor shoulder injury responding to the blaze, Kagan said.

Webcor Builders, the project’s construction contractor, is working with the city’s Department of Public Works and Department of Public Health to investigate the incident.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A fire spokeswoman said crews were welding in the elevator shaft before the fire broke out on a temporary platform.

California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is also looking into the fire, spokesman Peter Melton said.

He said safety engineers were sent to the site and the agency will be reviewing the project’s safety program.

The blaze did not affect hospital operations today, Kagan said.

The construction project is part of a new $887.4 million acute care hospital that will include private rooms and a larger emergency room.

Construction broke ground in October 2009 and the building is scheduled to open in 2015.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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