Emotional SF residents collect belongings after 5-alarm blaze

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A ferocious fire over the weekend sent San Francisco residents running into the streets. Now, several of them get to go back home to see what's left.

The five-alarm blaze happened at 29th and Mission streets on Saturday afternoon. It displaced 58 people from their homes.

Building inspectors say the building containing Cole Hardware and the one immediately to the left have to be torn down immediately.

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There's nothing inside that can be salvaged. However, some of the other buildings sustained less damage.

Overcome with emotion, one woman nearly collapsed after leaving her home.

Her family rushed to support her, the belongings she salvaged an afterthought to her pain.

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Monday morning, building inspectors allowed two family members a few minutes to gather the immediate items they needed.

Residents waited with plastic bags and bins, not sure of what they would find inside.

"We'll see what we see when we go in," one resident said.

This mother has been staying with her sister since the five-alarm fire tore through 29th and Mission streets. "We scared, so my children is scared too. It's terrible," Ailiana Tome said.

Another displaced man says his 8-year-old daughter didn't want to leave.

"And I carry her and she say I don't want to go and I say stop don't cry," resident Alex Juarez said.

On Monday, the Department of Building Inspection says a total of six buildings were involved.

A grey building sustained no damage and residents should be able to return after an electrical inspection.

The health department must test the Greywood Hotel for asbestos before any families are allowed back inside.

City officials expect that will happen on Tuesday.

"We lost the things but my family is OK and we have to start work again," Juarez said.

The Mission Bernal Merchant's Association is planning a fundraiser for all of the people affected by the fire.

They plan to announce details soon.

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