15 displaced by 2-alarm house fire near San Francisco's Panhandle

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Fifteen people have been displaced by a 2-alarm fire that burned a 3-story building in the city's Panhandle neighborhood.

The fire was first reported around 3:13 p.m. one block south of the end of the Panhandle section of Golden Gate Park. Firefighters tweeted around 4:10 p.m. that the fire had been contained.

"I heard kind of like a muffled explosion, and there was like dark smoke coming and I could see flames behind the main window of the house," neighbor Tristan Savatier said.

That's when Savatier says he called 911 and ran across the street to warn his neighbors that their building was on fire.

Nobody was home in the top front unit where the fire started. But, many others in the building were home, including Clayton Bishop, who quickly evacuated when he heard fire alarms and sirens.

"So, we run out the door, but by that time when we're running out there was like glass coming down from that top window," Bishop said.

Eunice Mateo owns the building that burned. It's been in his family for 70 years. She says her 15 tenants, including her daughter, are all safe and staying with family or friends, or in hotels since the apartments are now unlivable.

"This building is passed onto me from my dad. He bought this building in 1949," Mateo said. "Very, very sad, but grateful that everybody is out and no one was hurt."

Homes on this block of Page Street butt up against each other like homes in many other San Francisco neighborhoods. Cellphone video showed the flames spreading to the house next door, which sustained major damage to its roof and top floor ceiling.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Red Cross was working to assist the displaced residents.

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