SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — Firefighters battled a three-alarm fire at a residential hotel in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood on Tuesday night that injured at least 22 people, authorities said.

The fire broke out in the six-story Franciscan Towers building at 217 Eddy Street near Taylor Street just before 9 p.m. and quickly grew to three-alarms within a half-hour. It took firefighters roughly an hour and 20 minutes to contain the blaze.

A store clerk at Daldas Grocery, which is located across the street, said flames could be seen coming from the top of the burning building as residents fled out of emergency exits shortly after the fire broke out.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

Fire officials told CBS 5 that the blaze appeared to have started in a trash compactor on the first floor and then the smoke and flames spread throughout the building.

At least 22 people needed medical attention and some were taken to local hospitals, according to police and firefighters at the scene.

SFPD Officer Albie Esparza said most were cases of smoke inhalation and none of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening.

The American Red Cross set up an evacuation center across the street to assist about 100 residents, some disabled, that were displaced by the fire.

Billowing smoke from Tuesday night’s blaze could be seen up to six blocks away, near the Metreon in downtown San Francisco.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

Comments (10)
  1. Kendra Huerta says:

    Alicia i hope you are ok!

  2. Pixie Endrizzi says:

    that is my building I live on the top floor… my kid and I got out safely… but it was scary

  3. Where Do I Get A Check Fo Dis? says:

    Smoke Inhalation? Everybody have smoke inhalation in dat place every day.
    It was a mirricle how many people you see in wheelchairs all the time could walk just fine

  4. Mike Burkett says:

    The Towers are not near Taylor. They are on Eddy between Leavenworth and Hyde.