City, community helps victims who lost everything in Mission fire

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As San Francisco fire investigators work to determine the cause of a massive fire in the Mission District, the city and community are working to help the victims who lost their homes and businesses.

One woman was eating at Popeye's when someone came running, yelling their apartment was on fire. As a mom, she first took her daughters across the street, then headed back to the danger zone.

"I went and told them there was a fire upstairs and everybody get out and then I went to tell others to get out because there was a fire," the woman said.

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One person died after suffering a heart attack.

The Red Cross has placed more than two dozen people in hotel rooms.

Twenty-five businesses are damaged.

"To the scale of businesses that are affected in terms of sheer numbers but particularly the impact it's having on small businesses in the area," Todd Rufo, director of workforce and economic development said.

The city is holding a workshop Friday morning at 10:30 a.m. at the Mission Police Department to help business owners and employees get the assistance they need.

PHOTOS: Deadly fire in SF's Mission District


Doc's Clock, a bar across the street from the fire, ants to help residents. On Saturday, from 4 p.m. until closing, half of all proceeds will go to fire victims.

"We've always been a good neighborhood bar and she really wanted to help out victims since most people lost everything and there was so many kids involved," Carrie Hourihan, a manager said.

The San Francisco Unified School District said 15 school-aged children are impacted by the fire.

Alessandro Gonzalez is one of them. He was forced to drop his dog out a window then jump himself.

"You don't think, you just do, you know. It's just something you do in the moment," he said.

The fire department is investigating claims that some fire escapes were unusable and smoke alarms were not working.

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Money is being raised for the victims on GoFundMe.com. So far, more than $30,000 has been raised.

Donations can also be sent to the San Francisco chapter of the Red Cross.
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