1 Dead in San Francisco Apartment Fire, Scores Homeless

Second Person Injured, Investigation Underway

One person was killed and at least one other person injured in a two-alarm fire that burned at a residential building in San Francisco's Russian Hill neighborhood this afternoon. 

The American Red Cross Bay Area has opened a shelter for the approximately 70 residents displaced by the fire.

The shelter is located at the City of Refuge United Church, located at 1025 Howard Street in San Francisco. 

The fire was reported at 11:52 a.m. at a three-story building in the 1200 block of Union Street, between Hyde and Larkin streets.

The building contains six units and several addresses, according to the fire department, which received the initial call for a fire at 1262 Union St.

Seventy-five firefighters responded, extinguishing the blaze by 12:41 p.m.

Fire Lt. Ken Smith said one person was killed and another was taken to St. Francis Memorial Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

The fire started on the second floor of the building and spread to the third floor, Smith said. It also damaged a second-story unit of a neighboring building.

Jeff Bickel, 25, who lives with his girlfriend at 1264 Union St., in the building where the fire started, said he heard the fire alarm going off in an apartment next door and then the alarm for the whole building sounded.

He said he smelled smoke and that when he opened the door to leave he saw "big flames in the hallway."

Bickel managed to escape but didn't have time to retrieve his cat. He had given his keys to firefighters and hoped they would find the pet.

At about 1 p.m., Union Street was still blocked off and a crowd of onlookers had gathered across the street.

Copyright BAYCN - Bay City News
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