A three-alarm fire in the Inner Mission neighborhood of San Francisco destroyed an auto business and displaced 17 people at an apartment building. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

A three-alarm fire in the Inner Mission neighborhood of San Francisco destroyed an auto business and displaced 17 people at an apartment building. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

‘It could have been worse’: Mission tire shop fire displaces 21 people

Oscar Lepe might not have heard someone pounding on his apartment windows and ringing the doorbell had he not gotten up early Sunday morning to move his car.

Next door, the Rolling Stock tire shop in the Mission was gutted by flames, and the side of the three-story apartment building where Lepe lived with his elderly parents was scorched.

“It could have been worse,” said Lepe, who was among the 17 adults, four children and one animal displaced by the three-alarm blaze that broke out just before 8 a.m. at 16th and Shotwell streets, according to the Fire Department.

On Monday morning, Lepe, 46, along with his brother and father, stood outside of the wreckage in the place his family once called home. The cause of the fire remains undetermined.

“As long as everybody’s all right, that’s a good [thing],” said Gregorio Lepe Jr., 51, who was raised in the apartment building and met his wife there back when she was 11 years old. His father, Gregorio Lepe Sr., moved into the place in 1972.

Gregorio Lepe Jr. and his wife now live in South San Francisco, where they’re hosting his displaced parents and brother. “Maybe something good will come out of this,” he said.

Oscar Lepe lost his comic book collection to water damage, which he was selling off on Ebay. Firefighters tore the window framing from their unit, the electronics inside were ruined and “everything’s soaked,” Gregorio Lepe Jr. said.

The Lepe family did not have renter’s insurance, he said. They made it out of the home with small items, like photographs, but lost much else. “Within 10 minutes the flames were all the way to the top … the third floor,” said Gregorio Lepe Jr.

In total, the Fire Department estimates that $2 million in damages was incurred by the Rolling Stock tire shop.

The apartment building, where the Lepes lived in one of six units, experienced $750,000 in property damage and $250,000 in content damage.

The tire shop has since been red-tagged, and the Lepes aren’t sure when they can move back in.

Ninety-five firefighters and 31 pieces of fire equipment responded to the blaze, the Fire Department said.

A three-alarm fire on Sunday morning in the Inner Mission neighborhood of San Francisco destroyed an auto business and displaced 17 people at an apartment building. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

Image 10 of 10

A three-alarm fire on Sunday morning in the Inner Mission neighborhood of San Francisco destroyed an auto business and displaced 21 people at an apartment building. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

3 alarmapartment firemission fireRolling stockSan Francisco firethree alarm firetire shop

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The City has struggled to conduct outreach in some neighborhoods as it works to expand Slow Streets — such as this section of Page Street in the Lower Haight — to underserved neighborhoods. <ins>(Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
SFMTA delays vote on Bayview Slow Streets, approves five others in ‘underserved’ areas

SFMTA struggles to conduct outreach in neighborhoods with lower internet access

Stern Grove Festival organizers are planning to bring back the popular summer concert series — The Isley Brothers show in 2019 is pictured — with limited audience capacity. (Ming Vong/S.F. Examiner)
Indoor shows won’t be flooding SF stages soon but Stern Grove might be back in June

While San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced that live performances may resume… Continue reading

San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto  (47) started on Opening Day against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park on April 9, 2021. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Giants welcome fans back with strong performance by Cueto

By Ethan Kassel Special to S.F. Examiner ORACLE PARK — The first… Continue reading

James Harbor appears in court after he was arrested on charges in the July 4th shooting death of 6-year-old Jace Young on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Murder case heads to trial over killing of 6-year-old Jace Young

Hearing reveals new details in ‘horrific’ Fourth of July shooting

BART passengers may see more frequent service by this fall. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
BART service increases possible as soon as September

Proposal would double weekday, daytime trains and extend system operating hours

Most Read