The Salvation Army has deployed a Disaster Response Team and a mobile kitchen to assist fire crews at the scene of a five-alarm building fire that broke out this afternoon in San Francisco’s Mission District.
The blaze started shortly after 1 p.m. at 2632 Mission St., the address listed for Big House Inc., a retail store, San Francisco fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.
The Salvation Army is distributing cold water and snacks to the nearly 100 firefighters at the scene, officials said.
The Salvation Army is also making preparations to serve evening meals to crews.
The Salvation Army is also working with the American Red Cross to address any needs of evacuees who may have been impacted by the fire.
Other people have been evaluated and treated at the scene.
Talmadge said the three-story building had a large amount of inventory inside from its floor to its ceiling and that the roof of the building collapsed as a result of the fire.
The blaze was initially reported as requiring a two-alarm response but grew to five alarms by 2:15 p.m. and had not been extinguished as of 3:30 p.m.
Mission Street between 22nd and 23rd streets as well as parts of Valencia and Capp streets have been shut down by authorities responding to the blaze. Police said there is a lot of plastic burning in the fire and advised people to stay away.
Talmadge said the fire has been contained to a single building but several surrounding buildings sustained smoke and water damage. She said about 130 firefighters responded to the scene to make sure the blaze did not spread elsewhere.
The owner of New Mission City at 2626 Mission St., the business next door to where the fire was initially reported, said his whole store and all of its merchandise were destroyed in the fire.
Residents were also evacuated from nearby homes as a result of the fire.
Smoke from the blaze could be seen from throughout much of San Francisco this afternoon.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement he was grateful no one was seriously injured in the fire.
“On behalf of the residents of the city and county of San Francisco, I would like to thank our fire chief and the more than 100 firefighters who responded to today’s five-alarm fire in the Mission neighborhood,” he said. “Thanks to the leadership and determined action of our city’s fire department, the very real potential of severe damage to other homes, businesses and structures in the neighborhood was avoided.”
Lee said the extent of the damage caused by the fire is not yet known, and investigators are still looking into what caused the blaze.
At least three people, including a firefighter, were hospitalized with smoke inhalation as a result of the blaze, a fire spokeswoman said.
Dennis Culver, Bay City News
photos via Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News