Firefighter injured in Mission District fire Wednesday

San Francisco firefighters fighting a fire in the Mission District on April 6, 2011.

April 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
It took firefighters almost two hours to knock down a stubborn fire in the Mission District. That fire happened at a mixed-use building in the Outer Mission, near the spot where Mission Street and Valencia come together. The strong winds also made it tricky to control.

By 11 p.m. fire officials said they had the blaze completely contained and were in the process of overhauling, which means they thoroughly search the building for any hot spots in the three buildings that were affected.

At about 8:15 p.m. the fire started in the back of the building at 3212 Mission Street. Firefighters say fire quickly rose up the back of the building and spread to the roof. The buildings on either side also caught fire.

The owner of the Blue Plate restaurant next door stepped outside because he could smell strange smoke.

"I looked above the building and the wind was whipping and fire was pouring over both of these buildings," said Cory Obenour, owner of the Blue Plate.

The wind became a major concern. Strong gusts made it difficult for firefighters to get a handle on the fire from the rooftop. More than 100 firefighters attacked the blaze. They entered from the rear of the building and then raised ladders to get inside 3212 to try and stop the flames from spreading any further.

"The good news is that no civilians are injured. We do have one firefighter that we transported to the hospital with probably musculoskeletal injuries. He fell off one of the ladders on the inside of the building," said San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White.

The injured firefighter was taken to San Francisco General Hospital. There were 16 residents that have been displaced and the Red Cross is on site to offer assistance. ABC7 spoke to residents who are not sure what kind of damage the fire did to their homes.

"Were in the middle floor, so we're hoping it's minimal. The upper floors seems like it pretty much...really got burned," said resident Paul Winterfitz.

Arson investigators have already gone inside the three affected buildings and they've determined that the fire started in the lower unit behind the dental office at 3212 Mission Street, but the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Firefighters predict they'll be on the scene until 8 a.m. Thursday morning.

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