3-alarm fire destroys 2 homes in San Francisco's Potrero Hill

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A three-alarm fire destroyed two homes in the 200 block of Mississippi Street in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood.

Neighbors, who gathered around to watch the burning house, said they heard a popping noise just after 6:30 a.m. and then saw large flames coming from the roof.

"Like a shotgun pop, and then it was like an explosion," said Candice Suggs, a neighbor. "It was big, the whole house, and it all started to spread," said Suggs.

Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said the fire moved fast.

"Because of the intensity of the heat and the flames, we did pull our members out," explained Hayes-White. "Buildings like these, they're attached, many of them wood frame, you could light up the whole block, particularly with the windy conditions, crews have done a great job."

No one was injured as the residents were out of town. Once the fire was out, the extent of the damage realized. With than came tears and questions surrounding the cause of the fire. Investigators said they still don't know what caused the fire.

Josh Litwin called his friends Ashley and Dave, the owners of the house where investigators say the fire started. The couple and their small children are visiting family for the Christmas holiday.

"It was a shock," Litwin said. "It was a terrible way to spend Christmas and they've got two young kids. We've got two young kids and it's tough to explain why bad things happen."

Their home and the one above it are a complete

Responding firefighters learned children lived in this home and they decided to act in the spirit of the holiday.

"We overheard the firemen immediately talking about finding gifts for the kids and that's just amazing," Litwin added.

So, even in the darkest hour the true meaning of Christmas can come when it's least expected.
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