Fund set up for victims of Monday’s fire

[pic by George Belle]

Friends and neighbors of some tenants displaced by yesterday’s fire on Valencia Street have set up a fund to help them get back on their feet.

At 1pm on October 28th, our friends’ apartment at 25th and Valencia in San Francisco’s Mission District caught on fire (the cause is still being determined). Luckily, our friends noticed the fire and were able to get everyone out of the building before it was completely engulfed in flames. By the evening, when firefighters escorted them one at a time back inside the destroyed building to search for belongings, they found little left intact. Most of their posessions have been lost, and they are now without a place to live. Please help our friends get back on their feet by donating what you can!

The money raised here will be given over to the five tenants at 1448 Valencia to divvy up between those affected, so that they can replace some of what was lost.


UPDATE: Our pal Leef from Mission: Comics & Art tells us that EHS Pilates, at 1452 Valencia, are also looking for some help today (Tuesday):

EHS was effected by a 3 alarm fire yesterday and suffered severe water and smoke damage. We are here at the studio NOW (12noon) trying to salvage everything else. We are looking for a little help here. If you can spare an hour today to help move props, books, etc. or just stand outside and make sure no one walks away with our equipment. Any help you can give us right now would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you. Carrie

Mission 1906

You’ve probably seen the panoramic photos of downtown and South of Market that George Lawrence took by kite immediately after the earthquake and fire of 1906. (all via the Library of Congress):

I’d never seen this one though — it was taken above Twin Peaks, looking towards downtown and the Mission. (At 2000 feet, Lawrence’s kite was about as high as Sutro Tower is today.)

Zoom in on the Mission:

Zoom and enhance:

The fire swept mercilessly into the Mission before it was halted at 20th St, thanks to the magic Golden Hydrant.

Here’s what 20th & Valencia looked like on the ground:

More shots available at OldSF.

Here’s how much of the city burned.

As the fire swept into the Mission, things were not looking good.

Engine 27 was joined by Engine 19 as they responded to the magic hydrant. Or rather, they tried to. Their exhausted horses were unable to muster enough strength to pull the massive Metropolitan steam engines up Dolores Street.

The refugees in the park, seeing this, responded themselves – by the hundreds. Hands pulled ropes as shoulders pushed forward, propelling the magnificent steamers up to Twentieth Street. Now, firefighters could make their stand, but the firefighters were few and exhausted, and nobody knew how long the water would hold out.

Again the volunteers, under the direction of the firefighters, went to work. The line was to be drawn on Twentieth Street.  Buildings to the North were torn down to slow the conflagration and deprive it of fuel. On the South side, the alarm was raised as citizens prepared to defend their property and that of others.

When the advancing inferno reached the Twentieth Street line, over 3000 civilians and a handful of firefighters stood shoulder to shoulder to meet it. The fight was described as “Hell itself”.

The titanic battle lasted seven hours.

Hoses were used.  Mops and buckets were used. Behind the fireline, homeowners were on their roofs beating out sparks and small fires with blankets, mops, casks of wine - anything that could be used. Doors from the demolished houses were used as heat shields until they too began to smolder. Exhausted firefighters would drop in their tracks, as volunteers took to their lines.  Nurses moved through, administering stimulants. Through the night, the fight raged.

As dawn approached, the flames began to subside.  By 7:00 AM on Saturday, the fight was over, the flames gone. With the exception of some small pier fires, the nightmare was over. Rebuilding could begin tomorrow, but today was for savoring the effort – and the victory.

Think of that next time you’re drinking PBR at Dolores Park.

Fire at Chez Spencer

Another restaurant burned last night, adding itself to the list of neighborhood eateries catching fire recently.

You’ll recall that We Be Sushi and Thai House 530 on Valencia were both affected by a fire less than two weeks ago. Little Baobab burned just 9 days before that. We Be and Thai House are re-opening soon and Little Baobab moved their business next door. Earlier this year, across the Bay, Chez Panisse was damaged by fire, and has since re-opened. In the Bay, Forbes Island caught fire just three weeks ago.

Be careful, restaurants!

Last night’s fire today

Donate to Capp & 23rd fire victims

[video by Sangroncito]

Consider helping out our neighbors affected by Saturday morning’s fire. From the Capp and 23rd Fire Victim’s Support Facebook page:

Clothing donations are already coming in. Thank you!

New drop off time added for 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. on Monday, 12/31, at 1050 South Van Ness Ave.

You can still drop off donations tonight … (yes, New Year’s Eve, 12/31/12) between 8pm-10pm also at 1050 South Van Ness.

On 1/2/13 or later, you can bring donations to 938 Valencia St. between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

As I said earlier, the Dolores Shelter Program will make arrangements to get these donations to the affected people as soon as possible.

(Thanks, Laurie!)

San Francisco police charge SF Giants World Series riot

[video via Keslrrr]

SF Giants Win; San Francisco is on fire

san francisco, giants, sf giants, world series, baseball, 2012, fire, sports, mission district, riot, wtf, riots, 19 street, mission street, beauty bar


Accepting donations for those affected by the recent fire at Valencia and Duboce

After Sunday’s fire displaced at least 37 Mission District residents, Ellen from the McCoppin Hub Neighborhood Association writes to let us know:

The San Francisco Friends School at 250 Valencia St is hosting a quick
donation drive [Tuesday] through Friday in their lobby from 8am-6pm daily.
Top requested items are new/gently-used clothing for adults and kids,
toiletries, blankets. (Housewares and other items may be part of a
future drive at another location when the immediate needs have been

SF Friends School is also hosting a Neighborhood Meeting to discuss
what is needed and co-ordinate efforts on Thursday May 10th, 5-6pm. A
Red Cross Representative will attend. All community members and other
aid organizations are welcome. Please join to show your support and
brainstorm what we can do next.

[photo by nancymancias]

4 alarm fire at Valencia and Duboce


A 2 alarm fire is raging at Valencia and Duboce, at a multi-story apartment building across the street from Zeitgeist.

I can smell it from 22nd and hear the sirens. I hope everyone’s OK.

Update (1:35pm):

It was upped to a 4 alarm fire. Witnesses reported an explosion prior. The blaze is under control now. 37 people will be displaced and there were 5 injured including 3 firefighters who were victims of a collapsed staircase. Scary stuff. Read on at Mission Loc@l.

[photo by nancymancias]

Fire between buildings

(pic by me)

Last night around 11pm a fire caught between the building that houses Cha Cha Cha and the one that holds Specchio on Mission Street.

(pic by Erika)

The two buildings are just a couple inches apart, so the firefighters seemed to have a difficult time making sure they fire was completely extinguished.

Shutting Down Mission Street
(pic by me)

They brought the hoses to the roof and sprayed down into the narrow space, which would send a vertical sheet of water out at the gawkers.

(pic by me)

There were a lot of gawkers (present company of course included), coming out of the bars, probably wanting any excuse to get away from creepy Marina bros in Dr. Teeth.

Fortunately it looked as if there was no serious damage to either of the buildings, and nobody was injured. Plus I got to hear some good lines from the fireman to some drunk ladies excited at seeing some real men in action on their night out.

Fireman: “So, what are you guys drinking tonight?”

Well, I guess you don’t really need a good line if you’re in a fireman uniform and holding a 3 foot ax.