It took about half of San Francisco's fire department to put out the fire that started on Thursday, which has left as many as 60 people homeless and two injured, according to reports.
San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, told allvoices.com that the fire started on Thursday, minutes after 12 p.m. PST from the back of a Victorian three-story condominium building at 1502 Golden Gate Avenue. Moments later, the fire spread to the fourth story of a nearby building at 1015 Pierce Street so fast that a team of 150 firefighters (about half the department's daytime firefighting force, according to reports), support personnel and two water dropping helicopters were trying to keep everything under control.
Hayes-White also said that the Victorian building's blaze was so intense that it made it impossible for firefighters to get to the top floor to search for trapped residents. Nevertheless, some of the firefighters attacked the roof of the building before spraying water onto it to avoid losing control.
If you don't make an aggressive attack, Hayes-White said to her firemen, it is likely you will lose the entire block.
Reports say that one firefighter went to the hospital suffering from a neck burn, while a civilian was treated for mild smoke inhalation. A second firefighter was given oxygen at the scene.
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
A smaller team of firefighters spent early Friday morning putting out any hot spots left of what reports say was a five-alarm fire that took three hours to control. A total of 32 dwellings were destroyed, according to the Associated Press.
It was a challenging fire to fight, but given the time of day, it was actually helpful because most people were out of their dwellings, Hayes-White said.
Hayes-White also said that the fire spread easily due to brisk winds and because the Victorian building was made of wood and directly attached to other buildings.
Allvoices.com reports that the fire also downed a few trees and caused power outages in parts of Orange County, San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire.
The Red Cross was caring for residents displaced by the fire, according to the AP.