Fire Rages in SOMA

Categories: Breaking News

Much of Mission Bay and SOMA smells like a tinderbox at the moment as a three-alarm fire burns at Russ and Folsom streets.

SF Weekly has dispatched web editor Jake Swearingen to the scene. Our calls to San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge have not yet been returned. More when we know more.

Update, 6:20 p.m.: Swearingen counts five fire trucks on the scene of a fire that has apparently burned for about half an hour. The back wall of a three-story building is being hosed down by firefighters on the roof. No flames are visible.

Jake Swearingen
The scene at Folsom and Russ

Update, 6:40 p.m. Eyewitness Skip Hopkins, who lives next door to the burning building, tells Swearingen that he saw a firefighter ladder approaching his deck a shade before 6. While flames weren't visible before, the roof of the structure is now crackling. Hopkins said he saw a firefighter wheeled away from the scene earlier. The area is now being evacuated, and fire personnel are ordering bystanders back from the scene.  

Swearingen says that flames are now shooting out of the building's roof and upper windows.

Jake Swearingen
Flames are shooting through the roof of the burning structure...

Update, 6:50 p.m.: Part of the roof has apparently collapsed and flaming debris has tumbled to the street, per Swearingen. He can see into the flaming building as both the roof and walls of the third story have given way to the fire. Kids playing basketball at Draves Field continue their games, however.

Soma fire 03.JPG
Jake Swearingen

Jake Swearingen
They're waiting for the ball to catch on fire, apparently...

Update, 7:20 pm: According to Twitter chatter from user @evdaikoku: "Massive fire in #soma apparently started by someone putting bourbon on bbq IN UNIT. Really." An important reminder that whiskey and fire are always a dangerous combination.

Update, 7:40 pm: Per California Beat, six people, including four firefighters, were injured in the blaze at the Park Hotel.

Video   |   Tenacious Tanaka

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