140 firefighters battle huge San Francisco fire with smoke seen for miles

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140 firefighters battle huge San Francisco fire with smoke seen for miles
140 firefighters battle huge San Francisco fire with smoke seen for miles

A massive blaze has torn through an apartment building being built sending flames and smoke soaring into the sky.

Dramatic footage showed scaffolding collapsing under the flames with the building fully engulfed.

More than a hundred San Francisco firefighters are battling the blaze and people have been urged to avoid the dangerous scene. Five nearby households have been evacuated and have been unable to return to their homes.

The fire, described as a 'four-alarm' blaze, was burning in the area of Octavia Boulevard and Oak Street. The site is an apartment building under construction.

Videos from the scene showed massive flames erupting from the scaffolding frame of the four-story building and firefighters dousing the structure with water.

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Local man Jacob Kerr lives opposite the building and tweeted the dramatic video of the blaze, saying "huge fire across the street from my apartment in Hayes Valley" alongside a video of the entire wooden structure up in flames just metres away.

Did you witness the fire? Get in touch with us on [email protected]

140 firefighters battle huge San Francisco fire with smoke seen for milesNo injuries have been reported at this time
140 firefighters battle huge San Francisco fire with smoke seen for milesVideos from the scene showed massive flames erupting (Citizen)

He told The Mirror: “Yeah it was extremely hot — we tried standing on the balcony but it was too intense. It cracked the windows of our apartment. The building was under construction, so I think it was unoccupied. But it all took hold very quickly. It’s out now.”

No injuries have been reported at this time, the fire department said, and the area has been cleared.

140 firefighters battle huge San Francisco fire with smoke seen for milesThe fire was first reported around 6am in the area of Oak and Octavia streets

In their latest update, the Fire Department said the fire was now contained, but eight people have been left temporarily homeless.

They said: "Update. This 4-alarm fire is now contained with no injuries. 5 buildings have been affected by this fire. At this time we have 8 displaced who will recieve care and aid from city services and the @redcrossnorcal.

"Expect delays in the area as we will remain on the scene for a few hours."

140 firefighters battle huge San Francisco fire with smoke seen for milesFlames were soaring into the sky (Citizen)
140 firefighters battle huge San Francisco fire with smoke seen for milesThe fire is still active (Citizen)

Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region tweeted: "Our disaster volunteers were up early today to help residents displaced by this 4-alarm fire in San Francisco. Grateful for no injuries and the quick work of @SFFDPIO. Please continue to avoid the area as this remains an active scene."

Around 130 firefighters were summoned to put out the flames, the Fire Department said. It is currently unclear how the fire started.

The alert was sent out at 6am. By 7am, most of the flames had been put out by the firefighters. Traffic along Octavia Street was backed up to Market Street.

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The San Francisco Fire Department tweeted earlier: "4-th alarm fire Octavia at Oak. Avoid area. Do not enter the emergency scene. Do not drive over fire hose.

140 firefighters battle huge San Francisco fire with smoke seen for miles (HarperBF/Twitter)
140 firefighters battle huge San Francisco fire with smoke seen for miles (HarperBF/Twitter)

"PIO will establish a media staging location soon. No reported injuries at this time."

In an update, they added: "Update. Please avoid this area. 4-alarm fire- over 40 fire apparatus and 130 firefighters are on the scene. "ext your zip code to 888-777- for alerts in this area.

"Follow directions of public safety teams such as fire police sheriff Muni in the area."

140 firefighters battle huge San Francisco fire with smoke seen for miles (HarperBF/Twitter)

On Twitter, Mitesh Rathod wrote: "There’s a fire in Hayes Valley #SanFrancisco I’ve never seen anything like this."

As morning broke over San Francisco and the sun rose, the San Francisco Fire Department tweeted a video of their crews at the scene.

The massive flames appear to have been tempered, but the fire was still referrred to as active and crews are still working at the scene.

People are still being urged to avoid the area.

San Francisco Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson told CBS News: "When I pulled up, I thought we were going to see possibly a full block go down. So, really proud of the [fire department] members and what they did today, really limiting, limiting the impact to an entire neighborhood."

The fire service tweeted: "Update. Media staging Octavia and Gough. 4-alarm active fire. Avoid area."

Joseph Wilkes

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