Cause of Bayview fire that displaced 30 unknown 

The cause of a three-alarm fire that tore through a vacant home in the Bayview district late Saturday remains unknown, authorities said Sunday. The blaze spread to neighboring homes and displaced 30 residents.

The fire at 1881 Oakdale Ave. began about 9:30 p.m., spreading to two-story homes on either side before it was extinguished about 90 minutes later, the Fire Department said.

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The home was already engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, Assistant Chief Tom Siragusa said. About 100 firefighters fought the blaze, he said.

A Red Cross spokesman said the relief organization was paying for accommodations for 23 adults and seven children who lost their homes.

Battalion Chief Mark Johnson said the home had been empty in recent years, and abandoned buildings present a particular fire hazard because flames can easily spread to other buildings.

“It’s very fortunate” there were no injuries, Johnson said.

He acknowledged reports of people living in a camper in the backyard of the vacant home, but said it was still unknown how and where the fire began.

On Sunday morning, family members from the adjacent homes surveyed the damage, including charred walls, broken windows and water pooled in basement garages.

Manuel Garcia of San Pablo said his 70-year-old mother, Maria, lived at 1883 Oakdale Ave. and was awoken by his brother banging on the front door. She escaped unscathed and will be staying with him now.

“The owner, he just let it go,” Garcia said of the vacant home next door.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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