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2 Critically Hurt In Wind-Fueled Apartment Fire In SF Mission District

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Scene of an apartment building fire at 24th and Bartlett streets in San Francisco, December 1, 2011. (CBS)

Scene of an apartment building fire at 24th and Bartlett streets in San Francisco, December 1, 2011. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Four people were injured, two critically, in a two-alarm fire in San Francisco’s Mission District early Thursday morning, fire department officials said.

The blaze was reported around 4:30 a.m. in a rear unit on the top floor of a three-story apartment building at 3360 24th St., near Bartlett Street, according to the fire department.

Firefighters battled strong winds but were able to control the fire in about an hour.

One of the four people injured suffered serious burns and was taken to St. Francis Memorial Hospital in critical condition. The second person who was critically injured was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, fire officials said.

The other two victims were taken to California Pacific Medical Center’s St. Luke’s campus and are expected to survive.

The cause of the blaze had not yet been determined as of Thursday morning, but it is not considered suspicious, fire officials said.

Streets were closed off as firefighters battled the blaze, but as of 10 a.m. 24th Street had reopened.

There was a pile of burned debris outside the building, and daylight could be seen through holes in the wall and ceiling of the rear unit where the fire apparently started.

One resident, local artist Elliott C. Nathan, 26, stood outside the building with his roommates, who were wearing pajama bottoms.

He said he was asleep in his ground-floor apartment around 4:30 a.m. when his roommate started screaming for everyone to wake up and get out.

Nathan said his roommates grabbed their laptops and left the building, but that he made five or six trips back and forth to save his artwork. He said he has a show coming up at the Incline Gallery on Valencia Street, and pointed out a mural he had painted on several garage doors at 295 Bartlett St.

He said he stopped going back into the building when the smoke reached his apartment.

American Red Cross spokeswoman Cynthia Shaw said the Red Cross assisted about 27 people at the scene Thursday morning, providing blankets, beverages and emotional support.

She said she isn’t sure how many people the Red Cross is assisting in finding temporary housing, but that most residents made their own arrangements for places to stay.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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