Hundreds of onlookers stared up at flames shooting from two buildings in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood as firefighters worked to extinguish the four-alarm blaze Wednesday evening.
Click on the photo at right to see more shots of the fire or scroll down to see images and video captured from people around San Francisco.
The fire broke out at the three-story Park Hotel, a residential hotel at 1040 Folsom St., around 5:24 p.m., but the flames spread to the third story of an adjacent building on Russ Street. By 6:20 p.m. firefighters were evacuating the building temporarily due to dangerous conditions.
“When we called for the evacuation, that was definitely a tense moment,” San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said from the scene of the fire.
In all, a total of four structures were involved in the fire before the the more than 100 firefighters on the scene were able to contain the flames.
Two people were transported to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, including a firefighter. Several other firefighters were treated on the scene for minor injuries.
One resident of the building on Russ Street, Danielle, who declined to give her last name, was home with her roommate and cat when the fire broke out next door.
“I saw it happen. I was in my kitchen. It hit our staircase,” she said. “When it hit our staircase, I had to shut the door because the smoke started billowing up.”
She said that she believed the fire started on the ground floor of the Park Hotel and that she initially believed they were safe in their apartment.
“I thought it would be OK,” she said, but she suddenly realized the building was burning down and that they had to escape.
Although she grabbed her roommate, there was no time to find her cat.
“I wish I could get my cat,” she said.
The American Red Cross is assisting displaced residents.