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Fire erupts at South of Market public housing complex

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A one-alarm fire broke out at a public housing complex at 330 Clementina St. on Saturday afternoon. (Laura Waxmann/S.F. Examiner)

A one-alarm fire that erupted at a South of Market public housing complex late Saturday afternoon has been contained.

Fire officials responded to a report of smoke in the building located at 330 Clementina St. at 4:15 p.m. and upon arrival found the smoke to be coming out of a single apartment on the fifth floor, according to Division 3 Assistant Chief Jose Velo.

“With an aggressive attack, we were able to put it out pretty quickly,” said Velo.

One person may have suffered from smoke inhalation, though no other injuries were reported, according to Velo. San Francisco Fire Department spokesperson Jonathan Baxter said that the cause of the fire will be under investigation. 

Water could be seen dripping from the balcony of the apartment in which the fire started. The resident of that apartment was new to the building and was in the process of moving in on Saturday. The woman appeared to have been displaced temporarily.

“We are going to have to find a place for her tonight,” said Velo. 

Another resident of the building, Tommy Holloway, estimated that some 250 people live in the building — he was watching football when the fire alarm went off. 

Alex Bennenen, who lives on the 12th floor, said he self-evacuated after smoke began filling the building. 

“I went to the fire escape –from the eighth to the fifth floor it was pretty smoky,” said Bennenen. “By the time I got to the sixth floor I could see almost nothing.”

Despite having dispatched 12 engine companies to help out with massive fires currently ravaging through Northern and Southern California, the department is at “full staffing levels for the City,” according to Velo. 

“We have a normal response pattern, which is less than three minutes,” he said.

lwaxmann@sfexaminer.com

 

 

 

 

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