S.F. high school blaze mostly blows smoke

A dramatic fire at a San Francisco high school Tuesday sent a huge plume of black smoke into the air above the Ingleside district but did little damage to the school itself.

The fire started on the roof of Thurgood Marshall Academic High School about 1:50 p.m., San Francisco fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge said.

Roofing tar apparently caught on fire while roofers were working on the concrete roof, creating a very smoky blaze, Talmadge said.

The blaze covered a large area, Talmadge said, but because the roof is made of concrete, the damage was mostly restricted to the tar itself. “It looked big from a distance,” she said.

“I saw smoke all over. It was in the sky, in the streets. You could see it all the way from San Bruno [Avenue],” said Shahzan Rahim, 13.

The blaze was clearly visible from AT&T Park in China Basin, where All-Star Game preparations were taking place.

Firefighters received the call at 1:51 p.m. and had the blaze under control by 2:15 p.m., Talmadge said.

San Francisco Unified School District spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said the school does not have a summer session and was empty when the fire started. She said the school would open on time in September.

amartin@examiner.com


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