Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Western Addition Fire

Shortly after noon today, I noticed a plume of smoke that looked as if it was coming from my neighbors a block away.

The fire turned out to be about eight blocks away on the corner of Pierce Street and Golden Gate Avenue near Alamo Square in the Western Addition.

The large corner structure above was a four-story apartment building...

...and the word on the street was that at least two large residential buildings were destroyed.

There were stunned looking refugees wrapped in blankets being interviewed by the ghoulish looking local media...

...while a small group of neighbors and onlookers watched from a block away on Golden Gate Avenue, next to the Missionary Temple Christian Church where the Red Cross had set up a temporary shelter.

At a certain point, the San Francisco Fire Department retreated from trying to save the building and concentrated on containing the blaze instead.

Onlookers were equipped with everything from camera phones to iPads to record the event...

...and the San Francisco Police Department, to their credit, were actually being kind to everyone.

One of the few people who didn't look to be in a state of utter shock was the neighbor above from three buildings away on Golden Gate Avenue, who had hurriedly packed a suitcase full of valuables for a quick getaway in case the fire spread to his home. "If I hadn't managed to save my wife's camera, she would have killed me."

Condolences to the poor burned out apartment dwellers who have probably lost everything.

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