Many Displaced, Firefighter Injured In Massive Mission Bay Fire (Video)

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10:44 PM: A San Francisco-based property development company confirmed tonight that one of its buildings under construction was damaged in a massive blaze in the city’s Mission Bay neighborhood earlier today.

BRE Properties, which focuses on development, acquisition and management of apartment communities in California and Seattle, said the fire occurred at Block 5 of its MB360 development project, located on the west side of Fourth Street between China Basin and Mission Rock streets.

The five-alarm fire was reported at 4:56 p.m. and left one firefighter with a minor burn, a fire dispatcher said.

The firefighter was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive. No other injuries were reported.

Around 150 firefighters aggressively attacked the flames for several hours, keeping the blaze from spreading to other buildings.

The fire wasn’t declared under control as of 10 p.m. but a dispatcher said firefighters had a handle on the flames.
“It’s not going anywhere,” the dispatcher said.

According to San Francisco police Sgt. Eric O’Neal, the entire east side of Fourth Street between Mission Rock and China Basin streets was evacuated, including the Strata at Mission Bay apartments.

The American Red Cross responded to the scene to assist residents displaced by the fire. A Red Cross employee said there were reports of heat damage and that windows were broken at the Strata.

In a statement from BRE Properties, the company said the structure that burned contains 172 units under construction.

The company’s Block 11 site, which is also part of the MB360 development and contains 188 units under construction, was not affected by the fire.

“We are currently assessing the situation, including the cause of the fire, and we will be consulting with the appropriate authorities,” the company said in the statement.

BRE Properties said the company has comprehensive insurance coverage for events such as the fire, and believe any losses to the company caused by the fire will be covered by insurance.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement tonight he’s grateful to the firefighters who battled the Mission Bay blaze and that no one suffered serious injuries.

“Thanks to the leadership and determined action of our Fire Department, the very real potential of severe damage to other homes, businesses, and structures in the neighborhood was avoided,” Lee said in the statement.

Lee also encouraged property owners and landlords to help those displaced in finding temporary housing if needed.
The Salvation Army has also reached out tonight to help those affected by the fire.

A disaster services canteen, which includes a mobile kitchen about the size of a parcel deliver truck, has been stationed near AT&T Park to serve an estimated 100 firefighters, police officers and other volunteers working to extinguish the fire.

A second Salvation Army canteen has been placed at Pier 54 to serve another 20 volunteers, as well as about 30 residents who remained evacuated tonight from nearby buildings.

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Laura Dudnick/Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

7:27 PM: The American Red Cross has responded to the scene of a five-alarm fire burning in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood this evening to assist residents who were forced to evacuate nearby buildings.

The blaze was reported at 4:56 p.m. at a building under construction at Fourth and China Basin streets, according to a fire dispatcher.

No injuries have been reported, the dispatcher said.

Firefighters continued to battle the blaze as of 7 p.m.

“It’s a big fire, they’re going to be putting water on it for a long time,” the dispatcher said.

Residents at the Strata at Mission Bay apartments, located across the street from the burning building, are among those who evacuated.

Eli Brill, 31, said he came home to his apartment at the Strata after the fire had started and when he wasn’t allowed into the building, he realized his dog was still inside.

A firefighter escorted Brill inside to retrieve the dog, who was safely reunited with its owner.

Another Strata resident, 25-year-old Hisham Bajwa, said he could see the fire start to burn outside his window shortly before 5 p.m.

“There were two main points of fire, one on the left and one on the right,” Bajwa said. “It got pretty big pretty fast.”

About 20 minutes after he first saw the flames, the fire alarm went off in his building and he evacuated, he said.

Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White told reporters at the scene that the fire was contained to the building of origin, and that firefighters were performing an aggressive attack on the fire building.

She said she’s glad that firefighters have been able to prevent the flames from spreading to nearby buildings.

“This is a great save right here,” she said.

As of 6:54 p.m., the fire was causing delays on the San Francisco Municipal Railway KT-Ingleside/Third Street line.

6:40 PM: More than 100 firefighters are tackling a five-alarm blaze that is burning at a building under construction in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood this evening, a fire department employee said.

The blaze was reported at 4:56 p.m. at Fourth and China Basin streets, according to a fire dispatcher.

No injuries have been reported, the employee said, adding that evacuations have been ordered in the buildings across the street from the blaze.

Meanwhile, a fire dispatcher said crews are responding to reports of a possible second fire at nearby 555 Mission Bay Boulevard South. It appears from video footage of that fire that the small blaze has been contained.

The main fire is burning at a building under construction located across the street from the Strata at Mission Bay apartments, according to a spokeswoman for Sares Regis, which manages that property.

The spokeswoman said the structure that is burning belongs to BRE Properties but a spokesperson for BRE was not available for comment.

The property that is burning does not belong to the nearby University of California at San Francisco, a UCSF spokeswoman said.

San Francisco Municipal Railway is reporting that the fire is causing delays on the KT-Ingleside/Third Street line.

5:32 PM: A fire at Fourth and China Basin streets in San Francisco this evening has grown to four alarms, a fire dispatcher said.

The blaze was reported at 4:56 p.m., according to the dispatcher.

The fire is burning at a building under construction across the street from the Strata at Mission Bay apartments, according to a spokeswoman for Sares Regis, which manages that property.

The property that is burning does not belong to the nearby University of California at San Francisco, a UCSF spokeswoman said.

Photo: ptraughber, via Emergency In SF

5:13 PM: Firefighters are battling a two-alarm fire in San Francisco this evening, a fire dispatcher said.

The blaze was reported at 4:56 p.m. at Fourth and China Basin streets in the city’s Mission Bay neighborhood, according to the dispatcher.