Emergency response scrutinized in Mission fire

Amid questions over emergency response in a deadly Mission fire last week, a 13-year-old girl injured in the fire died of her injuries Wednesday, a spokeswoman for San Francisco General Hospital said.

The girl was the daughter of San Francisco resident Mohamed Shaibi, who on Saturday died as a result of injuries also suffered during the early morning blaze on March 11 in the family’s apartment above Maurice’s Corner liquor store at 3046 24th St. The name of the deceased girl has not yet been released by the San Francisco medical examiner’s office.

San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said that emergency crews performed CPR on the girl and her father and that both regained their pulses before being transported to the hospital.

At a hearing called for by San Francisco Supervisor David Campos at the Board of Supervisor’s Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee meeting Thursday afternoon, members of the San Francisco Fire Department, including San Francisco fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, and members of The City’s Department of Building Inspection, including director Tom Hui, spoke with the supervisors about the city’s fire response and prevention efforts.

They also discussed other possibilities that could be implemented to help prevent fatal fires. The blaze that killed the teenage girl and her father was reported at 4:29 a.m. and was extinguished at 5:01 a.m., fire officials said. Hayes-White confirmed reports that the first engine arrived at the scene three minutes after the fire was reported, but that the first ambulance took 13 minutes to arrive at the scene.

She said the San Francisco Fire Department is trying to get that response time to less than 10 minutes, explaining that the department is required to have 90 percent of ambulances respond to major emergencies in less than 10 minutes. Hayes-White said today that the department’s ambulances are only responding to major emergencies in less than 10 minutes 82 percent of the time.

Hayes-White said however, that once the four ambulances arrived at the scene, the fire victims were still being stabilized and were not ready to depart for hospitals right away. According to fire officials, upon arrival at the blaze fire crews saw dark smoke billowing out of a bedroom above the front door and saw flames coming from the living room.

Firefighters rescued two brothers, a 6-year-old and a teenager, via a ladder up to the apartment window, Talmadge said. Emergency responders performed CPR on three of the five family members injured in the blaze. Following CPR, Shaibi and his daughter regained their pulses and the 6-year-old boy regained both his pulse and consciousness.

All three were taken to nearby San Francisco General Hospital, Talmadge said. Talmadge said the other two victims, the mother and the teenage son, were taken to Saint Francis Memorial Hospital with serious smoke inhalation injuries.

Fire crews also discovered two other people who had been sleeping illegally inside the padlocked liquor store, Talmadge said. Firefighters cut two padlocks to free the pair from the liquor store. The pair then immediately left the scene, according to fire officials.

According to Talmadge, the family injured in the blaze owns the liquor store. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, fire officials said Thursday.

Campos ended the hearing by urging the fire chief and the building inspection director to let him know if there are additional resources needed in their departments to ensure that they can adequately meet the safety demands of a growing, densely-populated city.