Three people, including a firefighter, were hospitalized with smoke inhalation, and two buildings were damaged as a result of a five-alarm fire in the Mission on Thursday, fire officials said.
Firefighters were able to get a handle on the blaze about three hours after it began shortly after 1 p.m. at 2632 Mission St., the address listed for Big House Inc., a retail store, fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge said. More than 100 firefighters were called to the scene, Talmadge said.
The fire apparently began inside the retail store in a three-story building and quickly grew from two to five alarms in an hour.
Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement he was grateful no one was seriously injured in the fire.
"On behalf of the residents of the city and county of San Francisco, I would like to thank our fire chief and the more than 100 firefighters who responded to today's five-alarm fire in the Mission neighborhood," he said. "Thanks to the leadership and determined action of our city's fire department, the very real potential of severe damage to other homes, businesses and structures in the neighborhood was avoided."
Talmadge said the three-story building had a large amount of inventory inside from its floor to its ceiling and that the roof of the building collapsed as a result of the fire. Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said fire inspectors came out to the store at least twice since 2009 following customer complaints of overcrowding. No violations were issued.
Police said a lot of plastic burned in the fire and advised people to stay away as firefighters battled the flames.
Talmadge noted that several surrounding buildings sustained smoke and water damage.
The owner of New Mission City at 2626 Mission St., the business next door to where the fire was initially reported, said his whole store and all of its merchandise were destroyed in the fire.
Residents were also evacuated from nearby homes as a result of the fire.
Smoke from the blaze could be seen from throughout much of San Francisco on Thursday afternoon.
The Salvation Army deployed a disaster response team and a mobile kitchen to assist fire crews at the scene, including cold water and snacks.
The Salvation Army also worked with the American Red Cross to address any needs of evacuees who may have been impacted by the fire.
Lee said the extent of the damage caused by the fire is not yet known, and investigators are still looking into what caused the blaze.