West Portal fire halts Muni, engulfs restaurant

Friday morning commuters along Muni’s K, L and M lines got a rude awakening this morning as an early morning fire in the West Portal neighborhood shut down the station right across the street.

SFGate reports the blaze overtook Squat & Gobble at 1 West Portal Ave. First reported at 4:40 a.m. Friday morning, the blaze was quickly upgraded to a four-alarm fire as it spread to three nearby buildings.

The restaurant is located right across the street from the tunneled Muni station that serves inbound and outbound trains, as well as bus lines that stop just outside.

Deputy Fire Chief Mark Gonzalez told SFGate firefighters shut down the Muni power  lines so they would not be damaged by the blaze. The power lines will need to be fully tested before transit can resume.

A bus bridge was set up  to shuttle commuters in the meantime. KTVU reports that downtown-bound shuttles are picking commuters up along 19th Avenue, at 19th and Holloway at San Francisco State, and Junipero Serra. Muni officials say that light-rail service for outbound-traveling riders is available up to Castro station.

KGO-TV reported the fire was contained around 8:30 a.m. but was not fully put out at that time.  The cause of the fire is still unknown, but under investigation.

Two firefighters have been taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Another suffered from minor smoke inhalation, but did not require hospital transit. No other injuries have been reported.