SF Building To Be Torn Down Following 18-Hour Fire
San Francisco firefighters finally extinguished a blaze Wednesday morning that burned for more than 18 hours in a historic building in the city's South of Market neighborhood, fire officials said.
The one-alarm fire was extinguished by 1 a.m. after burning in a three-story vacant building at 1133 Mission St. since around 7 a.m. Tuesday, according to San Francisco fire Lt. Ken Smith.
The structure, which was still standing despite its weak condition from the flames, poses a danger to Mission Street because it may collapse, Smith said.
"The building is so tall, if it falls it will cover most of the street," Smith said.
Mission Street between Seventh and Eighth streets, which closed Tuesday morning shortly after flames were reported, remained closed Wednesday, according to Smith.
Building inspectors determined Wednesday morning the wood-frame and brick building, which was built around the turn of the 20th century, must be torn down, according to Smith.
"It's structurally so weak, that we think it presents a hazard to the street and the immediately adjacent buildings," San Francisco Department of Building Inspection spokesman William Strawn said.
It has not been decided whether the building's owner or the city will have to pay for the demolition, Smith said.
The building, emblazoned on its street-side entrance with "Knights of the Red Branch," was undergoing renovation and may at one time have been used as a dance hall for an Irish fraternal organization, according to fire officials.
Reports of smoke billowing from the third story of the building drew firefighters to the scene at 6:51 a.m., Smith said.
Firefighters were pulled from the building when a section of the roof collapsed on one firefighter Tuesday morning, Smith said. A second firefighter was injured later that day, and both firefighters were treated at a hospital and released, according to Smith.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation.