Boy honored for heroism during SF's Mission District Fire

Lyanne Melendez Image
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Boy who saved family dog during SF fire receives award for heroism
Alessandro Gonzalez was presented with a commendation for his heroism after he rescued his family's dog during last week's four-alarm fire in San Francisco's Mission District.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's been nearly a week since a four-alarm fire gutted an apartment building in San Francisco's Mission District, killing one person and leaving dozens homeless.

There have been several reports of acts of heroism during that blaze, including one of a 13-year-old boy who saved his family's dog.

The family was invited to City Hall, where Alessandro Gonzalez was presented with a commendation from the Board of Supervisors.

Gonzalez was acknowledged by Supervisor David Campos, who called him a remarkable kid for acting quickly and knowing what to do during the fire.

He was surrounded by his parents, siblings and grandmother. Also, there was Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, who encouraged him to think about considering a career as a firefighter.

Last Wednesday night, Gonzalez was at home alone. He escaped the fire by breaking the window. He then got onto the fire escape and then tossed his dog and jumped on an awning.

Firefighters were waiting below.

More than 50 people living in the apartment complex on 22nd and Mission Streets lost everything in that fire.

"I'm very proud of myself. I think everybody in the building deserves this award because we helped each other. I'm really grateful," Gonzalez said.

In case you were wondering, his dog Buddy was not at City Hall with him because dogs are not allowed.

Gonzalez and his family are staying at the Red Cross shelter in the Mission while they find another place to live.

Hayes-White said SFFD is still investigating the cause of the fire. They know it started on the third floor of the building but it does not appear that there was foul play.