Cause sought in Haight blaze that left 9 homeless 

click to enlarge Haight fire: More than 100 firefighters responded to a fire Sunday night on Masonic Avenue in the Haight district. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE SF EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/The SF Examiner
  • Haight fire: More than 100 firefighters responded to a fire Sunday night on Masonic Avenue in the Haight district.

Fire officials are still investigating the cause of a three-alarm fire that left nine people homeless on New Year’s Day.

Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike Morris said Monday that no cause had yet been ruled out after the fast-moving fire tore through two residential buildings in the Haight district Sunday night.

All of the residents escaped the fire, Morris said. One was taken to a hospital with a medical condition not related to the fire, and a firefighter suffered burns to the ears.

The blaze left a single-family home and a three-unit apartment building on Masonic Avenue uninhabitable, Morris said. A neighboring house also was damaged.

Greg Mayor, 42, who had lived with his girlfriend and dog in a second floor apartment at 1357-1359 Masonic Ave., spent the night with a neighbor. He returned to the scene of the fire Monday morning to try to salvage some belongings.

“At 8:09 I lived here, and at 8:10 I was homeless,” he said, clutching a soot-covered stuffed puppy, a beloved childhood toy that he had rescued from his burnt-out apartment. “We didn’t even smell it. I just heard the landlord yelling downstairs and then we saw flames shooting up the back side of the building.”

Morris said 111 firefighters and 39 pieces of equipment responded to the scene of the fire, which was under control within 50 minutes.

“We were pretty lucky that the winds weren’t a factor, as they had been a couple weeks ago at the place over on Pierce [Street],” Morris said, referring to a five-alarm fire in the Western Addition on Dec. 22 that displaced dozens of apartment residents.  

acrawford@sfexaminer.com

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