SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – One man was killed an another five were injured in Wednesday night’s 4-alarm fire in San Francisco’s Mission District. In addition to the casualties, dozens lost either their home of their workplace in the inferno. Now an online campaign has started up to help them get back on their feet.
A GoFundMe campaign started just after the blaze had earned more than $20,000 by 2:30 p.m. Thursday. 450 people had chipped into the find, started by Mission Resident Zack Crockett.
“I’ve started this fund to prove that, as a community, we care about our long-time residents. Let’s come together a support them in this time of need,” Crockett wrote on the donation page.
The building was left uninhabitable by the fire, which was reported on 22nd street around 6:45 p.m. It’s not clear how the funds collected will be distributed at this point. Crockett says he’s working with the Red Cross, attorneys and city supervisors to figure that out.
“Right now, we’re all doing our best to get in touch directly with the victims, who are scattered throughout the city with relatives, and in temporary housing. The best option would be to set up a 503c fund with a local nonprofit, then divide the money to everyone in need,” said Crockett.
At least 40 residents of the building stayed at an American Red Cross shelter on the City College of San Francisco campus at 22nd and Bartlett streets Wednesday night.
“I tried to get some of my stuff, but I couldn’t. The fire went too fast, said Jamie Renderos, who works in Building.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation and could take weeks to determine, but arson is not believed to be a factor. However, investigators are looking into reports from residents that fire escapes were blocked and fire alarms in the building malfunctioned, complicating evacuations, according to the fire department.