Hunters Point-Bayview fire under control

August 31, 2009 1:09:19 PM PDT
A fire in San Francisco that spread to seven warehouses and has been burning for two days in the Hunter's Point-Bayview District is under control. Investigators are looking into some twists and turns in the fire.

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Marijuana plants were found in one of the seven buildings damaged in the fire. It is now up to the police department to investigate whether that was an illegal growing operation and whether it played a role in the fire.

Sections of roof collapsed while the fire was burning. It was that threat of potential collapse that forced the fire department to take a defensive stance while battling the flames; they fought the fire from outside the buildings rather than try to enter and fight it from the inside.

Fire fighters estimate that hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage was done to the seven buildings.

At the height of the fire, which started Sunday morning, strong winds and old construction teamed up to make it tough for firefighters to stay ahead of the flames.

"These buildings share a common space, just like in our wood-framed structures here in San Francisco, so once the fire starts going and starts going to each building, it will start growing like it did yesterday," Lieutenant Ken Smith of the San Francisco Fire Department said.

No one was hurt in the fire. Investigators are on scene, looking for the potential cause and tally up how much damage was done.

There were earlier rumors that fire crews did not have adequate water pressure to battle the flames, but the fire department now says that any issues with water pressure likely was the result of so many crews drawing from nearby water sources.

Between the Hunters Point-Bayview fire and another burning in the Haight, 250 of the city's 350 available firefighters were engaged in fighting a fire, leaving just 100 other firefighter covering the rest of the city.

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