Bodies removed from charred restaurant

Officials are trying to determine how two males who were found lifeless today in a loft above the kitchen of a charred restaurant in San Francisco died.

The two males were removed from the building at noon after firefighters stabilized the area where the bodies were discovered, according to San Francisco fire Lt. Ken Smith.

Shortly after 5:30 a.m., a one-alarm blaze ripped through the kitchen of Star of India, located at 2127 Polk St., and firefighters had the flames controlled about 20 minutes later, Smith said.

After the fire was extinguished, investigators determined two bodies were in the loft above the kitchen, according to Smith.

Initially firefighters attempted to enter the loft, but the kitchen's ceiling, which also served as the loft's floor, was so unstable a firefighter's foot went through the wood, said San Francisco fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge.

“It was collapsing,” Talmadge said of the loft's floor.

Rescue squads then constructed a new wall to support the floor, according to Smith.

“They had to basically create a new floor to give them stability,” Smith said.

Once the floor was established safe, officials removed the bodies, according to Smith.

The bodies “did not appear to be burned,” Smith said.

Polk Street between Vallejo Street and Broadway was closed until about 10:30 a.m. while fire officials cleared the area, said Talmadge.

Pasha Restaurant, connected to the same building as the Star of India and located at 1516 Broadway, had “an extensive amount of smoke damage” and is closed today, Smith said.

— Bay City News

Bay Area NewsLocal

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