SF fire almost contained, still causes hassle for nearby Pinoys

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Mar. 13, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO – Work crews continue to contain the five-alarm blaze that destroyed a $227 million dollar apartment development in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco. Fire continues to burn the bottom floors due to the building collapsing onto itself.

Demolition crews are working to take down parts of the building, to avoid more collapses. So far, only two minor injuries were reported following the incident. Those injured were firefighters.

Nearby apartments and businesses were also affected by the fire. Many people have been displaced while others have been having trouble getting to and from work.

Filipino-American Rustico Siazon’s office building is located two blocks from the apartment complex and witnessed the fire firsthand. “I was walking home after work and I saw people looking at something. I smelled something in the air and so I turned around. I then saw the building on fire. The smoke was dark and a lot of fire trucks came.”

Siazon expressed concern over his health following the fire. “It’s a little hard to breathe, with all the smoke,” he shared.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. However, San Francisco fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said the fire may have started from an above-ground welding. Its developer, BRE Properties, said any losses caused by the fire will be covered by insurance.

Meantime, more demolition work is expected in the coming days while fire crews remain on the scene.

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