5 injured, 1 dead in San Francisco house fire

A two-alarm fire in Visitacion Valley claimed the life of one woman and left 5 people injured.
April 1, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
There was a tragedy in Visitacion Valley as an explosion and fire tore through a house leaving one person dead. It happened near the Cow Palace on Castillo Street, near Geneva Avenue, early Tuesday evening.

The two-alarm fire started in the top floor of a house. The smoke and flames were so intense it claimed the life of a grandmother and forced one man to jump from the second-story window.

Two people are in critical condition and three others sustained moderate to minor injuries following this fire.

"It was crazy, it was just flames coming out the window like there was a dragon inside," said Edson Pineda, a neighbor.

Pineda shut some video of his neighbor's house on fire. Minutes later, a man living there jumped from a second-story window to escape the flames.

"He had no way to get out and he just jumped and it was crazy seeing him just lying on the floor, full of blood," said Pineda.

"One victim when we arrived, jumped from the window and we're tending to him, to that person," said San Francisco Fire Batt. Chief Jose Velo.

That man and four others were taken to the hospital, but 84-year-old Jane Thompson did not survive.

Neighbor Carlos Crespo tried to save her. He told ABC7 News, "The one lady that was upstairs, God rest her soul, we did everything we could to try to help her, but we had to leave it up to the firemen."

But they could not reach her in time. Witnesses reported hearing a small explosion before the fire started.

"We have our fire investigators on scene, trying to determine if that was indeed what happened, but they're still looking into the cause," said Velo.

Manny Chavez arrived to the terrible news. He shared this house with his beloved grandmother Jane. He told ABC7 News, "My grandmother was 84 and that's our world, was her. She was the rock of this family, she still will be just?"

The Red Cross will help Manny's family find shelter.

Some of the video in this report was provided by Edson Pineda.

Bay City News contributed to this report.