Mission Bay Fire: Welding Equipment Likely Cause of Five-Alarm Blaze

Time lapse video via Jake Durrett/YouTube

Hot welding equipment, left to smolder in yesterday's hot sun, is the most-likely culprit behind the massive five-alarm fire yesterday which consumed a Mission Bay apartment complex under construction.

Fire crews were still dumping water on the (formerly) 176-unit mixed-use building south of AT&T Park as of 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, according to Fire Department spokeswoman Lt. Mindy Talmadge.

Investigators could name the cause of the fire -- which began shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday on the "eighth or ninth" floor of the wood-frame building -- as soon as this evening, Talmadge said.

No major injuries were reported, despite this fire, the first five-alarm blaze in San Francisco since 2012, being notable for generating massive amounts of heat.

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Huge Blaze Engulfs Recology Recycling Center for 9 Hours

Categories: Fire

screen-grab via NBC News
A little over an hour ago, firefighters extinguished a massive blaze at the San Francisco recycling center where a heap of trash burned for nearly nine hours.

Nobody was injured in the fire which started Monday just after 10 p.m. and burned until about 6 a.m. Tuesday. The fire reportedly started when a large trash pile inside the Recology dump station, located at 501 Tunnel Ave., started burning, said Mindy Talmadge, spokeswoman for the Fire Department.

That burning pile of waste, which consisted of very dense building material, was roughly 100 yards long and 8 feet deep -- and that's why it took nine hours and 80-plus firefighters to extinguish the flames.

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Maverick Restaurant Damaged, Residents Evacuated in Early-Morning Fire

Not so appetizing
A fire broke out this morning, ruining a popular upscale Mission District restaurant and forcing residents living above to flee.

According to press reports, the fire started at about 8:15 a.m. in the kitchen at Maverick, located at 3316 17th Street, between Mission and Hoff streets. The blaze was under control within 30 minutes, and fortunately, nobody was hurt.

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Raymond and Chloe Tse Identified as Dad and Daughter Who Died in Fire

Categories: Fire

Fire in the Sunset kills father and daughter
Medical authorities this morning say it was 33-year-old Raymond Tse and his 1-year-old daughter Chloe who died in the house fire in the sunset District early this morning.

According to news reports, the fire broke out at about 1:30 a.m.on the second-floor of an apartment building on the 1900 block of 18th Avenue.

Raymond Tse was found dead in the garage and his toddler, Chloe, who was found on the third floor in a bathroom, died at the hospital, officials said. Chloe's grandfather remains in critical condition and her mother escaped with minor injuries.

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Mt. Diablo Fire 45 Percent Contained, Here Are Some Cool Images

Categories: Fire

Thumbnail image for mtdiablofire.png
The devil is burning
Word on the mountain is that the blaze on Mt. Diablo officially stopped growing overnight, and firefighters now have the fire 45 percent contained. That's not to say we're out of the woods just yet.

Residents in the nearby community of Clayton continued evacuating and cities left air quality advisories in place as fire crews prepare for Day 3 of battling the 3,243-acre wildfire. The winds haven't necessarily cooperated, but firefighters managed to keep the flames from jumping line.


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Mt. Diablo Fire Still Burning, Residents, Livestock Ordered to Evacuate (Update)

Categories: Fire

Mt. Diablo is on fire
Update 4:38 p.m.: The Chron is reporting that the Mt. Diablo fire has tripled in size and is now threatening about 100 homes near Clayton. Yikes.

Original Story 7:45 a.m.: Now that the Yosemite wildfire is under control, fire crews can focus their efforts on trying to put a cap on the mountain blaze in Contra Costa County where a fire broke out Sunday afternoon.

According to press reports, some 250 firefighters have been working to extinguish the blaze, which was only 10 percent contained as of Monday morning -- and residents are evacuating.

The fire, which started at about 1:30 p.m. on Sunday off of Morgan Territory Road on the eastern side of Mount Diablo, grew to 1,500 acres overnight. Some 75 structures are currently being threatened by the fire.

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Rim Fire: Check Out This Time Lapse Video of the Yosemite Wildfire

Categories: Fire

Yosemite National Park/YouTube
As of today, the Rim Fire is 30 percent contained, and fire crews say they're hoping to have the full blaze under control by Sept. 10.

And while thousands of firefighters have been working 'round the clock to tackle this out-of-control fire, Yosemite park officials have been documenting the historic blaze. They stitched together images showing different angles and perspectives of the wildfire which started on Aug. 17, and created this 2-minute time-lapse YouTube video for all of us to enjoy.

It's a nice, artsy take on the whole natural disaster.

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Rim Fire: Bottled Water Industry Slams San Francisco

Categories: Fire, Government
Drinks on the house...
In a strong contender for most passive-aggressive press release of the year, the International Bottled Water Association this morning opted to gloat about San Francisco's threatened water supply. Its bizarre missive foretold a strange and dystopian future in which city employees will be forced to purchase their own bottled water or expire from thirst.

It demonstrates questionable marketing acumen to, in essence, mock the potential victims of a massive fire and burgeoning environmental calamity. It also indicates a near-total misunderstanding of how government works, and reveals a delusional worldview in which the worst imaginable outcome of the ruination of San Francisco's water supply is that someone working at City Hall would be forced to buy a bottle of water.

Here's the meat of the bottled water mavens' message:

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Rim Fire: Unfiltered Hetch Hetchy Water System and Ashes a Potentially Disastrous Mix

Categories: Fire
Thumbnail image for firerim.jpg
Trouble brewing...
Update: PUC lays out the options. See end.

The quality and clarity of Hetch Hetchy water have long been bragging points for San Franciscans, for whose benefit the pristine Yosemite valley was dammed and flooded.

Well, a massive out-of-control fire can change all of that -- especially since Hetch Hetchy is one of the few large-scale water systems not equipped with a filtration system. In the short-term Public Utilities Commission officials have shunted water into supplemental reservoirs before ashes befoul the source. In the long-term, however, as rainfall carries ash and detritus into the watershed, the city may be facing problems without easy, or even apparent, solutions.

Spreck Rosenkrans is a water expert and director of policy at Restore Hetch Hetchy. He emphasizes that the highest priority is putting out the fire quickly to save lives and property, and protecting San Francisco's water and power systems.

But, after that, San Francisco's problems could be legion.

See Also: SF's Drinking Water May Be Unsafe for Those with HIV/AIDS

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Rim Fire: Videos Show Just How Out-of-Control Yosemite Fire Has Gotten

Categories: Fire

San Francisco fire crews are packed up and headed for Yosemite today to help contain this out-of-control blaze that's burning up one of the most beautiful spots in the state.

The Rim Fire, which started nearly a week ago, doubled in size overnight, covering more than 150 square miles. More than 2,000 firefighters are on the scene, but sadly, the blaze is only 2 percent contained.

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