An early morning fire that broke out on Lapidge Street between 18th and 19th streets in the Mission district Tuesday left one man with burns to his lower body.
A roofing company worker was apparently using hot tar to attach flashing above the front door when some wood on the exterior of the building caught fire, Fire Department Battalion Chief Kirk Richardson said. The 50-year-old man was treated at the scene and released.
“The call came in to dispatch at 9:01 a.m. and when we got here, the guy was throwing buckets of water on it,” Richardson said. “The guy was wearing plastic clothes, so it melted on him.”
According to construction workers on the scene, the roofing contractor tried to use a fire extinguisher to put the fire out, but the extinguisher ran out before the flames were put out.
“We put it out with a 24-pack of water from Safeway,” said sheetrock installer Miguel Montemayor. “Now we stay
without drinking water all day.”
However, Richardson said there was no evidence of a fire extinguisher being used.
The fire was contained to the exterior of one building and it took only minutes to extinguish once firefighters arrived, Richardson said.
“Around 9:20 or so, I heard the fire trucks and ran down the street to see if my home was on fire,” said neighbor Chris Steinrueck, 27, who was at his girlfriend’s house a half-block away. “I saw the guy come out and his clothes were burnt.”