A five alarm fire in Bernal Heights was under control at 6:35 a.m. Sunday, according to the San Francisco Fire Department.
The blaze started at about 2:19 p.m. Saturday at 3312 Mission St., in Bernal Heights and was contained at about 6:27 p.m. Though the fire was contained that evening, it was still ongoing.
Jonathan Baxter, spokesperson for the fire department, confirmed the fire was out early Sunday morning.
The plumes of black smoke and scorching flames displaced 58 people according to the latest count, Baxter said. As of Sunday midday 30 residents displaced by the fire registered to stay in a temporary shelter, according to the Red Cross. Small businesses were displaced as well.
“I’m grateful there hasn’t been any loss of life, but I know finding housing for these folks is going to be a challenge,” said Supervisor David Campos, whose district includes Bernal Heights and the Mission.
Above, the Firefighters Local 798 union recorded a video of Saturday’s blaze.
Multiple efforts to support families displaced by the fire are underway.
As of 11:30 a.m. Sunday, a Go Fund Me page called “Support Mission Fire Families” raised $9,106 of its $12,000 goal, from just 148 donations. The page was started by Edwin Lindo, one of the “Frisco 5” hunger strikers who called for former San Francisco Police Department Chief Greg Suhr’s removal.
Lindo also ran for District 9 supervisor, but recently ended his campaign.
A live-edited online document is also spreading around the internet, detailing what goods the displaced families need donated. That online Google Document was started by 48Hills reporter Sana Saleem, who is running the donation page along with her husband, William Fitzgerald.
“I just saw something was needed,” she said. The community donated so many items she had to turn some away, she said, adding, “My phone has been ringing nonstop.”
Above, a screen shot of a donations Google Doc set up for victims of the Bernal blaze.
Those donations can be brought to the Salvation Army at Valencia and 22nd streets, where some of the displaced families are staying.
Caitlin Rink was one of those donating to the families who lost their homes to the fire. Rink works in real estate, and her husband works at a startup, and they have a 2-year old daughter. Though they’ve lived in the Mission less than a year, already she’s seen multiple blazes in her community.
Sunday morning, Rink arrived at the Salvation Army on Valencia and 22nd streets with bags of t-shirts, diapers, wipes, toothbrushes and toiletries to the families
“We heard there were families that needed different items,” she said. “I just feel sad. We want to help with anything we can.”
Hillary Ronen, an aide to Supervisor David Campos, said many groups and businesses from the Mission and Bernal Heights offered to pitch in as well.
Virgil’s Sea Room, a neighborhood bar near Cesar Chavez street, is offering to be a staging ground for donations – and to donate some of its proceeds to victims.
Even though many fundraising hurdles and immediate needs are being met, Ronen said, the next challenge is a big one: finding the victims new homes.
“We have such good people in our community, and they’re being pushed out,” she said.
The Board of Supervisors will consider funding to aid those displaced by fires in its next budget talks on Thursday, she said.