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Mission District residents cannot return to fire-damaged building

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Tenants gathered in San Francisco's Mission District to figure out their next step after learning they may not be able to ever return to their homes. (KGO-TV)

Tenants gathered in San Francisco's Mission District Monday night to figure out their next step after finding out they may never be able to return to their rent controlled apartments.

A huge fire destroyed the building at 22nd and Mission streets. Now more than a year after the fire, what's left of the building may soon be demolished.

PHOTOS: 3-alarm fire burns in SF's Mission District

Without rent control, the tenants won't be able to return to the Mission, which is why they're banding together to come up with a plan.

Most have been living outside the Mission for the past year, many in temporary housing arranged by the city. It's been more than 12 months since flames damaged their apartment building on Jan. 28, 2105, on Mission and 22nd Street, killing one tenant and displacing nearly 60 others.

WATCH VIDEO: SF residents forced to permanently leave building damaged by fire

They've recently learned their building has been red-tagged, is set to be demolished, possibly wiping out their "rights of return" and rent control. Monday night, they converged in their old neighborhood searching for options.

San Francisco Supervisor David Campos says he's exploring several options, from legislation enhancing tenants' rights to taking over the building through eminent domain.

RAW VIDEO: Sky7 HD overhead SF Mission District fire

Campos told ABC7 News, "It's a tragic situation, but my hope is that out of challenge comes opportunity and that we can turn this tragedy into something positive for this community."

Tenants left encouraged, knowing their elected leader and the community are behind them. They say coming back to the neighborhood where they were raised, and where they would like to raise their children means everything.

"All my life is there. The community, I know everybody in the Mission," tenant Nancy Caro said.

As for the property owner, efforts to reach him were unsuccessful.

Related Topics:
building fireinvestigationfireapartment fireapartments evacuatedapartmentrentersdestroyed homesSan FranciscoMission District
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