UPDATE: Cat killed in two-alarm Inner Sunset fire

A two-alarm blaze on Lincoln Way in the Inner Sunset killed a cat and snarled traffic in the area for at least an hour late Tuesday morning.

The fire started on the top floor of a three-story apartment building at the corner of Lincoln Way and Fourth Avenue around 10:38 a.m., Assistant Fire Chief Bob Postel said. Eight trucks, three engines and one rescue squad responded and controlled the blaze within a half-hour.

No one was injured, Postel said. Early estimates by the firefighters at the scene showed that some eight to 12 people were displaced.

Lincoln Way was blocked off at the intersection in both directions and a block of Fourth Avenue was closed at between Irving Street and Lincoln Way into the afternoon. Kezar Drive was also closed to westbound traffic at Stanyan Street.

Residents who live in the building said their neighbors who live in the unit where the fire started were on vacation but one person was there house-sitting.

Several residents were startled by police officers pounding on their doors, alerting them to the blaze.

Bill Sandberg, 28, who has lived in the apartment next door to the unit that caught fire for four years, said he thought the loud pounding on his door was from someone trying to break in — so he grabbed a baseball bat. And then he “heard somebody yell, ‘Fire! Get out! Get out!,” he said.

Firefighters told Sandberg to pack up for at least a week away from his apartment, he said.

Michael Podrid, 32, lives in the bottom floor of the building and had just gotten out of the shower when the fire broke out, he said. When police knocked on his door he rushed outside in such a hurry that he wasn’t wearing shoes.

“At one point I saw the flames probably 20 feet off the roof,” Podrid said.

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The scene at 253 Lincoln Avenue where SFFD effectively contained a fire on December 29, 2015. (Kevin Kelleher/Special to S.F. Examiner)

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