100 firefighters battle Alamo Square blaze

Quick work by roughly 100 firefighters who responded Saturday to a four-alarm fire in San Francisco’s Western Addition neighborhood prevented the flames from spreading to the entire block, a fire official said.

A fire dispatcher said the blaze broke out in the 1500 block of McAllister Street near Scott Street, about a block north of Alamo Square Park, shortly before 1:30 p.m.

Assistant Fire Chief Bob Postel said the fire started in the rear of the first floor of a corner building before extending to two other residential apartment buildings, eventually reaching the attic spaces of the multi-floor structures, Postel said.

Firefighters battled the blaze for roughly an hour and a half, Postel said,adding the wooden structures are densely packed together:

“When we got there we had extensive fire in three buildings. … It spread vertically to every floor.”

The fire threatened the entire block and could have spread quickly if firefighters hadn’t responded aggressively and gotten the blaze under control, Postel said:

“The extraordinary effort put out by the firefighters minimized the fire to the three buildings. … It was very challenging and tough and it was their efforts that prevented it from being much worse.”

One firefighter was transported to the hospital with mild to moderate injuries, he said. Some 16 fire engines, five ladder truck companies, and two heavy rescue squads responded to the blaze.

The fire impacted roughly 25 housing units and Postel said the American Red Cross is assisting 15 residents who may be displaced. All of the residents made it out of the buildings before firefighters arrived and Postel said no residents reported any injuries. He said there is no estimate for damages at this time. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.