Three-alarm high-rise fire in San Francisco; Dozens of force to flee; 5 Injured


SAN FRANCISCO (TBEN SF) – A 3-alarm fire broke out at a residential skyscraper in San Francisco’s financial district early Friday, sending dozens of residents fleeing fire escapes and injuring at least five people, authorities said .

San Francisco fire officials tweeted that the blaze was contained around 4:15 a.m. Dozens of residents nestled in the pre-dawn chill in the streets below the tower at 440 Davis Court.

Firefighters responded to building alarms at around 1:30 am Arriving crews found frightened residents huddled in the street and smoke and flames rising from an 11th-floor apartment. Smoke was also visible on other adjacent floors.

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Among those forced to flee was Margaret Lewis.

“The smoke was like a movie,” said Lewis, who lives on the 11th floor. “You couldn’t see into the hallway and it smelled like burnt plastic.”

She said she was awakened by the building’s fire alarm system.

“A fire alarm went off for my unit and then it stopped,” she said. “I was about to go back to bed, but I could hear people coming down the fire escape on my side of the building. I got up and when I got out of my apartment smoke was flowing in the hallway.

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Ron Pripitauo was also forced to leave his apartment. He was awakened by a loud alarm.

“We went down,” he said. “We saw smoke coming out of the building and then out of nowhere – a huge explosion of flames. We saw black smoke coming from the top of the building.

There was no immediate word on those injured in the blaze. San Francisco fire officials tweeted that a fire victim suffered burns and several more were to be rescued from their apartments.

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Some residents were allowed to return to their apartments once the fire had been brought under control.

Firefighters were still trying to determine the cause of the fire. Streets near the building remained blocked early Friday.



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