The parking garage at whole foods market is doubling as a temporary gathering place for displaced residents of the Dolores Street apartment house. The Red Cross is providing blankets and shelter.
Late today the 1920's era building caught fire. Sky7HD was overhead as smoke and flames could be seen from the top floor. The San Francisco Fire Department used ladder trucks to access the roof, but it didn't take long for the fire to spread.
"We went ahead and extinguished it rapidly from the outside with those lines and then some of the fire on the inside had burned through into the attic space. I was chasing through to the front corner of this building," said San Francisco Fire Batt. Chief Matthew McNaughton.
Fire alarms inside the building went off, but building resident Jason West was skeptical. He told ABC7 News, "The fire alarm went off and I thought it was just a normal false alarm. I've been here 20 years, so it goes off all the time."
Moments later West knew it was real. He grabbed his cat and got out. But other pets were trapped inside apts. While their owners were at work.
"We're happy to report at this time we had no firefighter or civilian injuries. We were able to rescue two cats from number 502 up here," said McNaughton.
A resident was reunited with his pet after not knowing if she was OK.
"They were really good about getting the cats out. They brought one out after another wet and smoky, but they got them out," said West.
Tenants will have to wait until power is restored to the building on Wednesday before they can return home.
Ann Kunisaki, who lives on the top floor, is worried what she will find there.